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AAA Alabama expects 13% increase in Thanksgiving travel

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – We’ve officially arrived at Thanksgiving vacation week and starting Wednesday, more drivers will be taking Alabama roads to family reunions and events.

AAA Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram said drivers should expect the roads to be congested, with more than 50 million people driving more than 50 miles for the holiday week.

“There is even more pent-up demand,” Ingram said. “A lot of people couldn’t go last year because of the pandemic to spend Thanksgiving with their families, so the numbers are going to be up from last year, an increase of about 13% compared to last year.”

While travel is up from last year, Ingram said it was still down 5% since 2019, before the pandemic. Yet the roads will be crowded.

“Wherever you go, there will be traffic jams and a lot of people, a lot of traffic, so you have to be prepared for it no matter where you are heading,” he adds.

Hayden Wilkes lives in Madison and will be on the road Wednesday for the 1.5 hour drive to Florence, where her family is from.

“Leaving a little earlier, not on the same day, should help on Wednesday,” Wilkes said. “So maybe try to avoid some of that traffic on 72.”

Ingram says a lot of people plan to do the same thing: leave on Wednesday instead of Thanksgiving Day.

“Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving. These are almost always the busiest travel days and the further into the middle of the day, the more people will be on the road, ”Ingram said.

He further explains that between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. traffic will be at its peak, but traffic can be expected throughout the day.


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