Roads during Thanksgiving travel expected to be congested

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – With Thanksgiving just a few days away, the rush to get out of town is already underway.

AAA says more than 49 million Americans are expected to drive at least 50 miles over the holiday, the most since 2005.

Airlines are seeing record-breaking travel numbers this year, but there are even more people driving.

Trooper Curtis Summerville with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says they’re expecting more traffic as opposed to some other holidays.

There will be an additional 1.6 million more people on the roads than last year, a 2.9 percent increase, according to AAA.

Maj. John Stringer with Madison Police Department says traveling can tire people out while driving.

“People travel long distances during these holiday seasons and they’re worn out, they’re exhausted and that has some of the same effects that driving under the influence does,” says Stringer.

A Secure Life says Alabama ranks as the sixth most dangerous state for drivers this Thanksgiving season. To avoid hurting yourself or others, you need to remember the new state laws set in place.

“One of those laws is the anti-road rage law which indicated you cannot drive in the left lane for more than a mile and a half unless you’re passing someone,” says Summerville. He adds the troopers understand traffic will be heavy, and you may have to drive in the left lane. But if you don’t have to, don’t.

“Also be mindful of our new law we have regarding seat belts,” says Summerville. “The seat belt law says everybody in your vehicle has to be buckled in.” That includes anyone sitting in the front or back seats.

If you’re traveling out of state, troopers recommend to familiarize yourself with their laws.

“Georgia, Tennessee have a hands-free law meaning you cannot hold your cell phone in your hand and talk on it,” says Summerville.

Wherever you’re traveling, roads are expected to be packed, so just prepare.

Wednesday is expected to be the worst time to travel with trips taking as much as four times longer than normal in major metropolitan areas.

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