AAA expecting heavier traffic in Nebraska during Thanksgiving holiday weekend

According to AAA, 54.9 million people are expected to travel across the country. Of those travelers, nearly 49 million will drive and 4.5 million will fly.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 9:19 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest traveling times of the year, with millions of Americans across the country heading out of town for festivities. According to AAA, 54.9 million people are expected to travel across the country. Of those travelers, nearly 49 million will drive and 4.5 million will fly.

“It’s an increase over last year and we’re at 98 percent of pre-pandemic levels which is pretty amazing,” Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Nebraska, Brian Ortner said. “This is the third highest Thanksgiving travel season since the year 2000, so it’s an indicator that people want to get out and see their family and friends.”

When it comes to the price you pay the pump, despite a gallon of regular gas costing 20 cents more than from a year ago, drivers aren’t changing their plans. On Nov. 23, 2021, price for a gallon of gas was $3.40. It currently sits at an average of $3.60 across the country.

“The prices of gas are not affecting people’s travel,” Ortner said. “Go back to Memorial Day, summer travel, Fourth of July travel, the numbers were up even with high gas prices.”

If you’re hitting the road, AAA estimates peak traffic times to be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. both Black Friday and the following Sunday.

“The best travel time is before 8 a.m.,” Ortner said. “Hit those roads and if you are before 8 a.m. you’re going to miss some of that business travel.”

Ortner said over 411,000 drivers are expected to need roadside assistance during the holiday weekend. He said it’s an additional reminder to make sure your car is ready to make the trip before leaving the driveway.

“Preparation is key when it comes to your vehicle,” Ortner said. “If you have time this week get an oil change in your car, get your battery checked, the air in your tires checked. Those are simple things that can help eliminate unexpected roadside incidents as your driving this holiday season.”

According to AAA, I-80 is expected to be the busiest road in Nebraska.