Holiday travelers hit the road - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Holiday travelers hit the road

November 23, 2005

Albany - Before you can stuff your face with turkey and dressing, you have to get to your holiday destination. You'll be one of about 37-million people nationwide traveling this holiday weekend. Tuesday is the busiest travel day of the year as people head out to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving. If you plan to drive, take the advice of some travelers - be patient and slow down!

Behind a police car is no way to spend your holiday. "I was going too fast," said driver Alan Landerman, who was pulled over by GSP near Highway 300 at Clark Avenue.

If you don't slow down, buckle up and drive carefully, you might find yourself staring into the face of a state trooper. "My mother told me to slow down, but I didn't heed her warning," said Landerman.

You can save yourself from a ticket and a nagging family by following traffic laws. The chances of getting caught are way up this holiday travel period.

Sgt. Jamie Sullivan said, "A lot of people know that we're short-handed right now, but we've canceled all off days. No one is off this holiday weekend, all troopers have to work."

As if blue lights in your rearview isn't enough, here's a number that will rattle your nerves - nearly 31-million Americans will drive 50 miles or more to reach their holiday destination. And a good four or five hours into your trip, it may seem like they're all trying to pass you. So take some advise from these drivers.

"Drive with the flow, don't speed."

"Drive safely - we don't drive fast and crazy like most people."

If you're planning to join the crazy highway hordes, don't leave home without checking out your ride.

"Make sure everything is good to go on your vehicle before you hit the road for a long trip," said Sullivan.

That's advice the Patel family of Albany took before piling into three cars and heading to Tampa.

Ami Vishalpura said, " I made sure I had an oil change and made sure my tires are good."

Another good tip, plan ahead.

"Go ahead and get on the road ahead of the traffic because it's going to be extremely heavy," said Sullivan. "Gas is down a little bit this weekend, and the weather is beautiful so we're anticipating a lot of traffic on the highways this holiday weekend."

Gas prices are down ten cents since last week. The average prices here in Albany about $2.09. That's still up a quarter from last Thanksgiving.

GSP predicts there will be more than 2,700 wrecks, resulting in more than 1,200 injures and 13 fatalities this Thanksgiving travel period which started Tuesday at 6:00PM and ends Sunday at midnight.

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