Traffic returns for post-pandemic Thanksgiving travel | News, sports, jobs | Tech US News


The weather should be fine for travel, but with traffic expected to return to near pre-pandemic levels, Thanksgiving travelers are advised to “Pack your patience,” the experts said.

Accuweather meteorologist Paul Walker said there is a chance for a storm with showers or snow later in the week, but weather-wise, “It looks good on Wednesday and Thanksgiving.”

While the weather may be clear, the roads won’t be, officials said, noting that the best time to drive is expected to be early Wednesday or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. According to AAA, it is expected that the journeys between 4 and 8 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be the most congested.

“People are looking forward to re-creating memories with their families and friends this Thanksgiving,” said Bevi Powell, senior vice president of AAA East Central. “Near pre-pandemic levels of travelers will result in heavy traffic congestion and busy airports. Drivers should plan their trip strategically, with plenty of patience for driving or flying.”

Nationally, nearly 49 million people are expected to drive at least 50 miles (out of 54.6 million total commuters) between Wednesday and Sunday.

While Thanksgiving road trips are up a slight 0.4% from 2021, car trips are still 2.5% below 2019 levels.

That could be due in part to higher fuel prices, as gasoline will be at its seasonal high by the weekend, according to GasBuddy.

The national average is forecast to be $3.68 on Thanksgiving, up nearly 30 cents from last year and more than 20 cents higher than the previous record of $3.44 set in 2012.

The cost of regular unleaded gas was $4.15 per gallon at most locations in the Altoona area.

“It’s been a whirlwind year at the pump, and motorists likely felt sick not from the eggnog but from the rollercoaster ride at the pump with record gas prices earlier this year, which have fallen significantly since mid-summer.” said Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy.

“However, Americans are proving that while we will openly complain about high gas prices, most of us will not be deterred from hitting the highways to observe Thanksgiving with those we care about most, especially as that pandemic precautions have eased.” he said in a statement.

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission remind drivers to drive sober and make sure they and their passengers are wearing seat belts.

Operation Safe Holidays began on November 14 with the “Click it or ticket” The Thanksgiving application drive through Nov. 27, PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said.

In addition to seat belts, child safety seats reduce crash deaths and injuries, said Lt. Col. Jeremy Richard, deputy commissioner of state police operations for Pennsylvania. Last year, troopers cited 1,200 drivers for not keeping children safe.

Law enforcement will also be conducting sobriety checkpoints during the upcoming holiday season, beginning Wednesday and continuing through the New Year.

According to PennDOT data, during the 2021 holiday travel period that began the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Jan. 2, 2022, there were 1,276 crashes involving an impaired driver, resulting in 41 fatalities.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike expects Thanksgiving to be the busiest travel holiday of the year with 3.5 million drivers traveling during the six-day period beginning today, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 27.

PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said drivers should avoid talking or texting on cell phones, eating, turning to talk to passengers and adjusting vehicle controls while driving.

“If you are tired, it is essential that you ask someone else to drive or take a rest before you get behind the wheel.” he said

To check conditions on more than 40,000 miles of road in Pennsylvania, visit The service, which is free and available 24 hours a day, offers traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

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