Tips for Holiday Travelers – Get to Your Thanksgiving Meal Safely

The Return of Holiday Travel Volumes

Thanksgiving travel is expected to return to levels near the volumes that were customary prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. AAA estimates there will be an approximate 13% increase in travel volumes compared to Thanksgiving 2020. More than 53 million Americans are expected to travel next week. Many are flying, but the vast majority of holiday travelers will be getting to their destinations by car. 

Most Holiday Travelers Choose to Drive

While air travel is expected to be up by approximately 80% compared to last year, there have been recent operational and staffing issues with several airlines that may have more travelers than usual choosing to drive instead of fly. Even in normal times, the overwhelming majority of holiday travelers go by vehicle – 90% of them, in fact, which translates into more than 48 million car travelers. Expect busy roads if you intend to drive to see family this Thanksgiving. It should finally once again feel like a normal holiday, so if you are traveling by car on Wednesday afternoon and you live near a larger metropolitan area, bring your patience and be prepared to sit in traffic.

Safety Tips for Holiday Travelers

Even though gas prices are at an all-time high in Northern California, during major holidays, people historically will choose to make the trip no matter how much it costs to fill up the tank. With that in mind, here are some safety tips for reviewing before you hit the road:

  • Prepare your vehicle. Have the key mechanical components checked, such as the fuel system, battery, brakes, tires, and fluid levels.
  • The best time to embark is in the morning over the weekend when it is generally less busy. Wednesday will present the most congested roads, historically. If you have to travel on Wednesday, there should be less traffic after 9:00 p.m. Highest traffic volumes that day will likely be from noon to 8:00 p.m.
  • Obviously, don’t drive impaired or while distracted or fatigued. Follow all the usual rules of the road.
  • Do not speed – give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and bring your patience.

Watch the YouTube video. The news clip below, posted by NBC News reports on the uptick in the number of holiday travelers expected this year.

Not Just Traffic – Continue to Be Mindful of Health

Though thankfully, it appears that we are approaching a return to normalcy, COVID-19 still exists. Health officials urge us to continue to use caution when gathering, and to keep the following in mind: 

  • The CDC recommends that travel is limited to those who are fully vaccinated.
  • If you will be accompanied by unvaccinated people, including young children, limit your stops and areas of exposure. Have them wear a mask.
  • Large indoor gatherings with unvaccinated guests continue to present a higher risk of infection.
  • If your festivities include anyone who is immunocompromised, it is suggested that all who will be in attendance take a rapid test prior to getting together.

Placerville Personal Injury Lawyers

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading our tips for holiday travelers. I’m Ed Smith, a Placerville personal injury lawyer. At, we have advocated on behalf of residents of Placerville and surrounding cities for decades. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s carelessness, we can help. For compassionate, free, and friendly case advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (530) 392-9400. For those calling from different Northern California area codes, we provide a toll-free number: (800) 404-5400.

The following links provide information about our injury attorneys that may be helpful to those searching for trustworthy legal representation:

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