A record number of Tennesseans are expected to travel this holiday season.
The auto group AAA predicts that 2.76 million Tennesseans will travel this year between Saturday, December 21st and Wednesday, January 1st.
That’s a 4 percent increase over last year. Nationwide, 115.6 million Americans are expected to travel during the holiday season. That’s 4.3 million more than last year and the highest travel volume since AAA began tracking the numbers 20 years ago.
“Holiday cheer is at an all-time high this year, with unemployment at historically low levels, and noted improvements in both disposable income and household net worth,” said Paula Twidale, vice president of AAA travel. “Travelers should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the eighth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays.”
Of the 2.76 million Tennesseans expected to travel over the next week, AAA anticipates 2.59 million will travel by car, 74,000 by plane, and 97,500 will take trains, buses, cruise ships, or other modes of transportation.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is halting all construction-related lane closures between noon on Friday (today) and 6 a.m. on Thursday, January 2nd.
“With 2.59 million motorists expected to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, keeping traffic moving and getting motorists to their destinations safely is our top priority,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “As always, please wear your seatbelt, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and never drink and drive.”
A few long-term lane closures will still be in effect for safety reasons, and workers may still be on-site in some construction zones. TDOT reminds drivers to obey all posted speed limits, including the slower speed limits posted in construction zones.
Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones when workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500 plus court fees.
Stay up to date on Tennessee road conditions here.