GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — About 1.6 million Michiganders are expected to hit the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday this year.
In total, more than 1.7 million people will travel -- either by driving or flying to their destination -- making this year the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000, trailing only the record set in 2005.
The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations and, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects Wednesday afternoon to be the worst travel period nationally, with trips taking as much at four times longer than normal in major metros.
Steven Giffel, a field manager at AAA, said it's important to not drive distracted.
"Making sure when you're driving, put your cell phones down," Giffel said. "Talking on the phone is also a distraction. Making sure when you do get on the road, you're there to dive, and get to your destination safely."
AAA also recommends taking your car in for maintenance before going on a road trip. Also remember to slow down, and move over for stopped emergency vehicles.
When it comes to gas prices, according to GasBuddy on Wednesday morning, they're up 7 cents from last year’s average nationally, and up 22 cents from last year’s average in Grand Rapids.
By the numbers: 2019 Thanksgiving travel forecast
- Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers in Michigan – almost 1.6 million – will hit the road this Thanksgiving, the most since 2005 and 2.7% more than last year.
- Planes: With 5.4% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the Thanksgiving holiday, with 151,744 Michiganders expected to fly.
- Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel by other modes will reach 46,312, a slight increase of 1.4% from 2018.
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