JEFFERSON CITY – With Thanksgiving comes a lot more traffic on the roads. In fact, according to AAA there will be about 25,000 more people on the road this year than last in Missouri alone.
AAA expects to see around 45.5 million people on the road nationwide.
The number of travelers is not the only thing increasing over the Thanksgiving week. Gas prices are also up from last year. Travelers last year only had to pay under two dollars for gas. This year, those traveling through Missouri will have to pay around $2. 44 per gallon.
However, that price does fall below the national average by at least twenty cents. AAA Vice President of Public Affairs, Michael Right said travelers should pack more than just the food they plan to eat.
“Pack a lot of patients, you may run into some traffic along the way. Try not to place unrealistic expectations,” Right said.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz said people need to pay extra attention while driving.
“We encourage people to allow yourself plenty of time. Don’t get in a hurry. Be patient with the additional traffic out there,” Hotz said. “We know it’s going to take a little longer to get to your destination, so biggest thing is just be courteous. Pay extra attention, not only to what you’re doing, but to what’s going on around you.”
The highway patrol is working to make sure drivers stay safe with the heavy traffic. Some officers are taking place in Operation C.A.R.E., the crash awareness reduction effort. Hotz said additional troopers will be out patrolling traffic.
He also said the patrol will take place in the 20-mile trooper project.
“We’ll have a trooper scheduled to be stationed about every twenty miles on interstates 29, 44, 55 and then Interstate-70,” Hotz said.
The troopers will work to enforce traffic rules and assist any motorists with issues on the road.