Record traffic expected on New England roads over Thanksgiving holiday

Dianna Christensen
November 24, 2017

The American Automobile Association says almost 51 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving.

Experts said a growing economy and low unemployment for putting people in the traveling mood.

Thanksgiving and traffic go together like turkey and dressing.

Those of you that are flying will be paying some of the cheapest airfare prices since 2013.

Road traffic will be tremendous with 45.5 million people on the road this holiday weekend, but thankfully the worst time to drive - Tuesday night - has passed.

Road trip ready: 89 percent of all travelers - 45.5 million - are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over a year ago. The contractor received approval from DOT to close a travel lane starting at 10 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday. "Every day requires caution and vigilance when there is a large number of travelers on the road". The overall increase is 3.3 percent.

This is projected to be the busiest Thanksgiving for travel since 2005.

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If you plan to be on the road this week, be sure to check out the Indiana Department of Transportation interactive map, which allows you to check state highways for restrictions, closures, and more.

The land and skies are predicted to be especially crowded this year for Thanksgiving with 1.6 million more people traveling, producing travel levels at their highest in 12 years.

That's despite higher gas prices.

With more North Carolinians on the road, the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program is partnering with state and local law enforcement for the Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign, which runs now through November 26, and reminds holiday travelers to wear their seat belts. According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of unleaded is averaging around $2.49.

Tennessee's prices - among the least expensive in the country - remained below the national average at $2.31 per gallon, a 35-cent increase compared to past year.

The national average on Thanksgiving Day was $2.14 in 2016, $2.05 in 2015, and $2.80 in 2014. "So the appearance is that there is a higher volume riding the system, but customers have simply adjusted their travel patterns and are traveling earlier than usual", she said.

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