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More Travelers Are Hitting the Road for the Holidays

For the fifth straight year, the number of people traveling 50 miles or more from home this holiday season will increase.
JOPLIN, MO.--- With the holiday season coming up, a lot of people across the country are getting ready to travel. Nearly 30% of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, a number that comes out to 94.5 million people. For the fifth straight year, the number of people traveling 50 miles or more from home this holiday season will increase. According to AAA, 91% of those travelers will be driving to their holiday destination.

"Transportation cost might be a little lower," said Karen Rutledge, State Farm Agent. 

State Farm Agent Karen Rutledge says the current price of gas may influence transportation decisions.

"I think that's an important thing for a lot of working people, how much is it going to cost us to where we're going. When gas prices are down, it certainly increases the travel on the road," said Rutledge. 

With the average distance traveled expected to be over 800 miles, that is a lot of time being behind the wheel.

"You want to go with the flow of traffic, but sometimes a lot of people don't drive the speed limit to the conditions of the road," said Jim Conley, MODOT Engineer. 

Driving conditions may be fine from where you are coming from, but that might not be the case for where you are going.

"If we are looking at wintery conditions, focus down the road a ways, because of taking longer to stop and if the roads slick, it's tough to react," said Conley. 

"When we are driving a vehicle, it's a very dangerous piece of equipment and you need to have control of it at all times," said Rutledge. 

Some last suggestions before you leave.

"It's important, especially if it's cold, to have appropriate clothing and emergency supplies with you in case you do have to sit in traffic," said Rutledge. 

"You want to make sure your rested, pay attention, slow down and have a safe trip," said Conley. 

MODOT also asks drivers to try to give themselves extra travel time, always have your seat belt on, and avoid using your phone while driving.


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