Nearly 55 million Americans traveling for Thanksgiving; How to get stay safe on the roads

Thanksgiving travel
Thanksgiving travel(KTTC)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:45 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Many of us are getting ready to hit the road or have already taken off for Thanksgiving travels. AAA estimates nearly 55 million Americans are traveling at least 50 miles this weekend.

“We’ve always seen more people choose to drive over fly. It has to do with accessibility, so you have the ability to choose when you’re going to leave, exactly where you’re going to go, where you’re going to stop,” AAA Minnesota-Iowa public affairs specialist Meredith Mitts said.

Even before you leave for your trip, there are a number of things you should check on your vehicle.

“Double checking your tires and making sure they’re inflated, getting that oil changed if you need to, topping off all fluids, making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition,” Mitts said.

Once your vehicle is road trip ready, there are several safety measures to follow to keep you and the vehicles around you secure.

“Making sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up. You need to make sure you’re slowing down for the conditions. You need longer stopping distances, longer following distances,” Mitts said.

It’s guidance echoed by Minnesota State Patrol, whose troopers spend a lot of time on our highways.

“So it’s important as you merge onto traffic, that you just increase you speeds and just look for an opening spot,” Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson said.

State Patrol is increasing patrols on portions on the highway where the majority of crashes occur.

“It’s a busy time for more DWI arrests and crashes,” Sgt. Christianson said.

One in four fatal crashes in Minnesota are alcohol related.

“It’s a major contributing factor in our fatal crashes so we need to continue to educate people the dangers of driving while they’re impaired and also make sure that if they are impaired, don’t get behind the wheel,” Sgt. Christianson said.

Safety experts say to avoid drinking and driving and going on your cell phone and driving to keep our roads ways.

“Just want to be a defensive driver and eliminate distractions while you’re driving, especially cell phones. It’s illegal in Minnesota to use your cell phone in your hand while driving,” Sgt. Christianson said.

As for up in the skies, AAA says air travel is up about eight percent than last year. That’s 99 percent to where air travel numbers were in 2019, before the pandemic hit. In total, around 4.5 million people are flying somewhere this Thanksgiving.