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Roughly 50 Million Expected to Travel on Roadways for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Holiday Travel 2020 Mostly on Roads, Freeways

Roughly 50 Million Expected to Travel on Roadways for ThanksgivingCALIFORNIA — Despite warnings from government officials to stay home amid rising Covid-19 concerns, motorists are expected to hit the roadway this Thanksgiving in record numbers as fewer fly to holiday destinations.

AAA Travel’s annual Thanksgiving travel report projects less than 50 million Americans will travel roadways in the United States — down from about 55 million last year. Today is expected to be the busiest travel day in Southern California.

Indeed, the Automobile Club of Southern California estimates travel will drop this year by about 13 percent to roughly 3.86 million travelers for the holiday weekend.

While that may be the largest one-year drop since the 2008 Great Recession, it remains a significant number of people hitting the road for Turkey Day amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. Meanwhile, about 269,000 people are expected to fly to their destinations, according to the Auto Club.

This year’s holiday travel period for Thanksgiving stretches five days from Wednesday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 29.

DUI arrests may decline this year as more people remain housebound. Last year 42 were killed in California car crashes and more than 860 were arrested on suspicion of DUI during Thanksgiving enforcement period, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Seat Belts and Sober Driving Save Lives

Wearing a seat belt saves lives, but people still lose their lives because they fail to heed the advice of safety experts.

Last year, 42 people died on California roadways over Thanksgiving weekend and in 2018 some 59 people died. The CHP states that roughly 43 percent of those who died in their jurisdiction were not wearing seat belts.

Additionally, the CHP also made 867 arrests in 2019 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This number is down from 931 DUI arrests in 2018.

Travel experts suggest designating a driver if alcohol is consumed and traveling at non-peak times to avoid congestion.


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