DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend is upon us and AAA predicts this year could be the third busiest travel weekend since 2000 with 49 million Americans traveling by roadway to their celebratory destinations.
Even Alabama State Troopers are expecting one of the busiest holidays in recent years now that we are in the post-pandemic phase. Therefore they will be beefing up their patrolling measures with many motorists on the roadways.
“We have things like line saturations, driver license checkpoints, or you know just posted in certain areas to remind them to slow down and have their seatbelt on,” Trooper Kendra Mckinney said.
The day before Thanksgiving is when you would typically experience delays as it is the busiest day of the holiday weekend to travel.
Heidi Pinkham, traveling from Georgia to Niceville Florida to spend time with her sister, niece and nephew says she always travels the day before, and although this year her destination is closer — it has still been challenging.
“I don’t know why my GPS took me it went Oates street in downtown Dothan and the traffic was horrific,” She said. “It was so bad I just did a u-turn and probably illegal but I said I gotta get out of this and got back onto Ross Clark Circle somehow.”
Other drivers like Jamie Lang traveling Grand Rapids, Michigan to Bradenton Florida near Tampa for a 5-month vacation. She says traffic is not too bad considering being shut in by a snowstorm.
“It’s been moderate not too many delays we hit some coming through small towns like Dothan and Troy so that kind of delayed us,”
With the heavy traffic this holiday, Trooper McKinney says the probability of crashes goes up along with citations.
Their slogan for this year is to “Save Room for Safety” as you’re heading out of town.
“We just want everybody to be safe and enjoy and not mourn the loss of a loved one and enjoy that time with friends and family,” Trooper Mckinney said.
Trooper Mckinney said to remember the rules on the road this holiday week such as no texting and driving, speeding, following too closely, and avoiding distractions.