AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Improvements in the state-wide and local economy are to credit for what's expected to be one of the busiest Thanksgivings to travel in years.
Millions of Texans will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA. And if you're one of them, there are a few things you need to be mindful of before you hit the road, and while on the road.
3.9 million Texans are expected to journey this Thanksgiving, an increase of 160,000 compared to last year.
Why? Improvements in the economy.
WT Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Neil Meredith says Amarillo is experiencing a lower unemployment rate, increase in consumer spending and lower gas prices.
This holds true statewide as well, and it's making traveling more attractive.
"We've seen rising wages, boosts in consumer confidence, as well as an increase in consumer spending," says AAA Texas Spokesperson Doug Shupe. "People are willing to spend that money to travel and to take part in this annual tradition."
And if you will be one of those traveling by vehicle, there are a few things to keep in mind. Of course, inspecting your vehicle before heading out is key.
"You want to check the tires, check the fluid levels, check the battery," says Shupe. "Make sure that the windshield wipers work well, that the lights are clean because you want to be able to see if you're traveling at night. Over the holiday period, AAA anticipates coming to the roadside rescue of 370,000 drivers across this country."
And because many towers and emergency vehicles will likely be out, you are asked to remember the "Move Over, Slow Down" law. Motorists are required to move over and change lanes to give safe clearance to these workers.
"It's been on the books since 2003. Remember if you see a police car, a firetruck, and ambulance, or a tow truck with the emergency lights activated, you need to vacate that lane closest to the emergency vehicle, or slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit."
AAA's Thanksgiving holiday travel forecast and other tips can be found here.