Thanksgiving travel expected to drop around ten percent

Holiday traffic
Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 19:39:15-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Experts expect there to be fewer cars on the road this Thanksgiving weekend, as health officials urge people to stay home for the holidays to fight the spread of COVID-19.

"Thanksgiving travel will look different this year," AAA Spokesperson Megan Cooper said. "We are expecting about a ten percent drop in travel versus last year nationwide, and this is the greatest year over year drop that we've seen since the great recession in 2008."

Still, millions of people do plan to travel this week, and Cooper said the overwhelming majority of them, about 95 percent, are opting to drive instead of fly.

"If you're traveling in your own vehicle, you know who's been in that vehicle, you know how well it's been cleaned," Cooper said.

But experts said even if you are in your own car, you should take precautions if you are hitting the road this holiday season. Cooper said you should limit stops to reduce exposure to other people, and you should make sure you are aware of COVID restrictions in every state you will be driving through.

She also suggested having plenty of extra masks and gloves and carrying hand sanitizer in the car.

Throughout the pandemic, there has been less traffic on Tennessee interstates. Data from TDOT shows that the number of cars on Nashville roads is currently down about ten percent compared to last year. In April, traffic fell by 60 percent, when stay-at-home orders were put into effect. Since then, traffic numbers have gradually climbed closer to normal levels.