Roads clogging as millions of Texans head home for the holidays

(KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Austin traffic on Interstate 35 (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The day before Thanksgiving is considered one of the busiest travel days of the year.

AAA predicts about one million more drivers will be hitting the road this year and in Texas nearly 4 million drivers will be traveling an average of 50 miles from home for their Thanksgiving meal. AAA warns Texans should be prepared for delays- and give themselves plenty of time to get to their destination since they may encounter an accident.

“What the law says is if you see a police car, fire truck and ambulance or a tow truck with the active emergency lights on, then you need to vacate that lane closest to that emergency vehicle. If you can’t get out of that lane, then you need to slow down significantly. In fact you need to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit,” said Doug Shupe, AAA.

One factor contributing to more people hitting the road, gas prices are down this week. Right now the average price for gas in Texas is $1.95 per gallon. The national average is $2.15.

And it’s not just the roads that will be busy – the Austin Bergstrom International Airport will likely see its busiest day of the year on Wednesday. In an effort to get travelers through the door faster additional parking has been added. Park and Zoom built a new 1,000 space lot near the Hilton that offers door to door shuttle service. ABIA also opened its overflow parking lot so all 12,000 spaces are available.

Overall, traffic is up at the airport by 5 percent. So far this year 9 million travelers have come through ABIA. One reason is three new non-stop flights to Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Albuquerque this year.

Airport officials also want to remind flyers to allot time not just for the lines but also traffic getting to the airport.

“Make sure to account for all of the local traffic with all of the construction going on on 71 and 183 coming towards the airport we want passengers to allow enough time to get through that traffic and get to parking and through airport security,” said Derick Hackett, ABIA Spokesman.

Hackett says to not bring any wrapped gifts in luggage – those could be unwrapped and searched.  Plus make sure to arrive about two hours before your flight. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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