Record number of NJ travelers plan to hit the road this Thanksgiving
About 1.4 million New Jerseyans plan to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to AAA.
AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble said this is a 2.7% increase over 2018 and the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005.
Nationally, AAA projects more than 55 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more this holiday weekend, a 2.9% increase over last year.
Noble attributed the increase in traffic to a stronger economy and labor market. People are making more money and want to travel. Thanksgiving is typically one of the highest travel holidays because people are rushing to see friends and family.
Noble said 90% of New Jersey travelers plan to go by car, a 2.7% increase from 2018. Also in New Jersey, 9% of travelers will go by air, a nearly 5% hike from those who flew last year. About 2.1% plan to travel by train, bus, watercraft or multi-modes of transportation, a 0.6% increase from a year ago.
Most people start off for their destination the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and return home the Sunday after. Noble said, if possible, try to avoid traveling during those peak times as the congestion will most likely be heavy. AAA also suggests finding alternative routes. It might take a person longer to reach their destination, but at least the traffic will be moving along.
AAA expects to rescue more than 368,000 motorists nationwide this Thanksgiving weekend and in New Jersey, it expects to rescue more than 8,000. Noble said before hitting the road, give the car a good once over. Make sure tires are properly inflated, the battery is in good working order and fluid levels are all filled.
She also said motorists should remember to slow down and move over for stopped first responders and police officers on the side of the road dealing with disabled vehicles. It's the law in New Jersey.