Thanksgiving Highway Travel to Fall Slightly, AAA Predicts

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The number of Americans traveling more than 50 miles by car for the Thanksgiving weekend will fall 1.5% from last year to 43.4 million, auto group AAA predicted.

Last year’s 44 million travelers were the highest since the 2008-2009 recession, when Thanksgiving travel fell by 25%, AAA said. The group blamed economic uncertainty for the slight decrease in the 2013 prediction.

“For those traveling, the good news is motorists will receive a holiday bonus in the form of lower gas prices, which are at their lowest levels for the holiday since 2010,” AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall Doney said in a statement.

Ninety percent of Thanksgiving travelers will use cars, AAA said.

Traffic analysis firm Inrix Inc. said traffic on Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, will be far worse than Thanksgiving itself. Traffic will peak between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., said Inrix, which advises drivers to travel early, late or on Thanksgiving.

Inrix also warned that traffic on Nov. 29, Black Friday, will be busy around shopping malls. The worst traffic will be between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. that day, it said.

American Trucking Associations and its America’s Road Team advised drivers to be safe, especially around large trucks.

“Thanksgiving is a challenging time on the highways,” Jeff Halford, a Con-way Freight drive and Road Team member, said in a statement. “There is nothing better than patience and safe driving practices behind the wheel.”


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