Those who are driving out of town so they can have Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones can expect to see more vehicles on the road this year.


Those who are driving out of town so they can have Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones can expect to see more vehicles on the road this year.

 

Auto club AAA is projecting 11.5 percent more Oklahomans will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday this year compared to last year. More than 532,000 Oklahomans are expected to drive, a 12.1 percent increase over last year. Another 48,000 are predicted to fly to their destinations, 3.5 percent more than a year ago.

 

The 2010 Thanksgiving holiday travel period is Wednesday through Sunday.

 

The Oklahoma numbers mirror what is expected nationally. Thanksgiving holiday travel  is expected to increase 11.4 percent from 2009, with approximately 42.2 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home. Last year, 37.9 million Americans traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

Ninety-four percent of the travelers plan to drive, which is a 12 percent increase over last year. More than 1.6 million Americans are expected to fly, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to a year ago. Two percent of the travelers plan to use other modes of transportation, including rail, bus and watercraft.

 

“While Americans remain cautious with household budgets and discretionary spending amidst high levels of unemployment in some regions of the country, many are in a better financial position this Thanksgiving than a year ago,” AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said. “This improvement, along with a strong desire to spend time with friends and family, is expected to drive a big increase in Thanksgiving travel.”

 

The auto club has forecast an increase for each of the travel holidays this year. In addition to the forecast, AAA travel agents are continuing to report strong increases in the number of travelers making advanced reservations. Hotel, car and vacation package reservations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday are up more than 10 percent compared to last year.

 

According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, the national average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline Friday was $2.883 compared with $2.831 a month ago and $2.638 one year ago. The Oklahoma average price Friday was $2.721 per gallon.

 

One month ago, the Oklahoma statewide average stood at $2.696 and a year ago, it was $2.495.
AAA said motorists can reduce the odds of experiencing car trouble by checking tire tread, tire pressure, wiper blades, battery connections and fluid levels under the hood, such as engine oil, brake fluid, automatic transmission fluid, antifreeze and windshield washer solvent.