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Christmas Travelers Fill The Roads In North Carolina For Holiday Season


Posted on Dec 26, 2009

Less than a week after being pummeled with a rare snowstorm, North Carolina residents are preparing to hit the roads for holiday trips, vacations, and family visits. AAA Carolinas predicts that over 3 million North Carolina drivers will travel between today and January 2, with many driving over 50 miles to reach their destination. This is a slight drop in the travel estimates from last year. In fact, 4.7% fewer people are expected to travel between Christmas and New Years in 2009. Three fourths of those traveling will go by car, while the remainder will fly or take the train.

The drop in North Carolina travel is connected with the recession and continued poor economy – with many worried about the housing market, jobs, and security, some are choosing to stay home. At the same time, other workers have seen pay cuts and vanishing bonuses this year. In addition, gas prices are significantly higher this year than in 2008, with the cost of a gallon of gas increasing by 87 cents.

Those going by car may still be facing adverse weather conditions following a rash of heavy snowfall last weekend. The bad weather, snowy roads, and short visibility increased the number of car accidents and car accident injuries in the area.

Driving during the holidays is more difficult than driving at other times of the year – there are many more people on the road and many of those drivers could be fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or simply driving in an unfamiliar place. December roads can also be more treacherous, even with North Carolina’s traditionally mild climate.

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