Holiday travel picking up prior to Christmas on the second busiest travel day of the season

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Friday is the second busiest travel day for the Christmas holiday season, according to Expedia and that means people will be hitting the roadways and airways.

AAA said more than 109 million people, which is an almost 34% increase from 2020 will travel 50 miles or more as they hit the road, board airplanes, or take other transportation out of town.

They added that’s a dramatic bounce-back with 27.7 million more people traveling and will bring this year’s numbers to 92% of 2019 levels. Airlines will see a 184% increase from last year.

United Airlines told us in a statement they expect around 8 million people to fly during the year-end holiday travel period, which is more than double the number of fliers this year vs. the same period last year, and about 87% of the number of travelers who flew united in 2019.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is encouraging everyone to end 2021 safely as they head out on the road for the holidays, by offering the following tips:

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
  • Buckle up 
  • Slow down, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or construction zones.
  • Eliminate distractions 
  • Drive defensively
  • Don’t drive fatigued 
  • Monitor weather and road conditions 

Public Information Officer of Amarillo District Texas Department of Transportation, Sonja Gross added that even though TxDOT construction work will be at a limited capacity in the week that leads up to Christmas, she says people still need to follow the rules when it comes to driving in construction zones.

“It is the law to drive the posted speed limit for those construction zones and the reason for that there could be a bump in the road ahead, there could be a change in the traffic pattern ahead. we could have a new stripping situation. so just because you drove that roadway last week doesn’t mean it going to look like it did,” said Gross.

Gross added as people travel this holiday season, drivers must work together on the roadways to make sure everyone has a happy and safe holiday

“The number of fatalities on our roadways on average daily has significantly increased. so let’s all work on getting these numbers down, the road to zero is within our reach, all we have to do is our parts as drivers,” said Gross.

AAA said if you are driving this holiday season, make sure your car is properly maintained.
They said they expect to respond to as many as 917,000 calls for help during this busy time

AAA added the worst day to travel is Christmas Eve from noon until 6 PM.

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