Rising airfare costs push millions of Americans on the roads
Sgt. Shawn Urquhart, Georgia State Patrol
According to TripAdvisor, the average round trip airfare in economy class is up 9% year after year
According to the survey, an increase in holiday auto traveling is attributed to a 4% reduction in gas prices year-over-year for the December travel season.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
A recent survey found rising airfare costs have pushed Millions more Americans to get behind the wheel this holiday season to get where they're going. And officers have stepped up patrols as roads get a little more congested
"Probably an increase in seat belt violations. A lot of people are in a hurry to get where they need to go and not buckling up," said Sgt. Shawn Urquhart, Georgia State Patrol.
A Trip Advisor survey found 5% more Americans will get behind the wheel this season. The cost of airfare is up 9% year-after-year, while gas prices have dropped year-after-year. That means over half of the nation's travelers will use their truck, minivan or car to meet friends and family.
"You know, this time of the year, there's a lot of parties and people want to enjoy and have fun, but we advise them if they are gonna partake in anytime of alcoholic beverage or anything to make sure they have a designated driver," said Urquhart.
Troopers said the holiday patrol period has been shortened because Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year. But speeding and other driving distractions will remain a big problem.
"You know, the cars are not like they were when I came on 30 years ago," Urquhart said. "Where a lot of cars didn't have power steering, so drunks was all over the road. But now you think you got behind a drunk, and you're actually behind somebody that's texting and driving."
Troopers said simple steps could keep you and your family from having a holiday tragedy.
"The first thing is to make sure, you know, your vehicle is safe to be on the road. And also make sure you buckle up and if you have a cruise control in your vehicle, you know, set it for the speed limit," said the Sergeant .
So allow yourself a little more time to get where you're going, Urquhard said, and have a safe holiday.
Troopers said there were 26 traffic fatalities during last year's holiday patrol, but hope to see less this year. They're reminding drivers to move over for stopped vehicles, and ask motorists to report aggressive or reckless drivers.