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Traffic Talk: Holidays put many travelers on Oklahoma's roads

Don Gammill: AAA predicts nearly 575,000 Oklahomans will be making Thanksgiving trips this year, more than 517,000 on Oklahoma's roads.
by Don Gammill Published: November 25, 2013

It's time for another holiday trip and if you're traveling this week, expect a lot of company.

Travel, safety and transportation officials all estimate the number of travelers to be down only slightly from last year.

For example, AAA projects 43.4 million Americans will travel during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday. An estimated 44 million people traveled last year.

AAA says last year's number was the highest in four years, dating back to substantial drops in 2008 and 2009 when the recession was blamed for a decrease of 25 percent.

But times are somewhat better and Americans are traveling more again. AAA predicts nearly 575,000 Oklahomans will be making Thanksgiving trips this year, more than 517,000 on roadways.

If Veterans Day was any indication, the projected numbers should be high.

Oklahoma's interstates carried a pretty big load just before, during and immediately after Nov. 11 and that isn't even one of the “biggie” among most-traveled holiday periods.

Expect the heaviest travel to be Wednesday, as people head for their destinations. The day they return home varies, with weather often weighing on the decision.

If weather is not a factor, those who have the Friday after Thanksgiving off usually indicate a preference for staying away a bit longer. Sunday, or even Monday, become heavy travel days.

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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