FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Thanksgiving weekend is always one of the busiest times for roads in Fairfield and across the country, and this coming weekend will be even busier than in years past, according to the American Automobile Association.
“For the fourth consecutive year, Thanksgiving travel is expected to increase,” said Fran Mayko of AAA Southern New England in a press release. “Although this year it’s considered a very slight increase.”
AAA projects that 43.9 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday. Of those, 90 percent will head by car, up by a fraction of a percent from 2011. About 3.14 million will fly, a decrease of about 1.7 percent.
The two busiest days on the road will most likely be Wednesday and Sunday, according to AAA’s projections. In the survey 45 percent said they plan to leave home on Nov. 21, and 36 percent expected to return Nov 25.
With more drivers on the road local law enforcement officials plan to focus more on traffic safety enforcement. Connecticut’s roads saw a decrease in unsafe driving last Thanksgiving, but state and local police still plan to focus on enforcing speeding, seat belt and drunk-driving laws.
Last year the Connecticut State Police investigated 389 accidents on the state’s highways from Wednesday to Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Of those, 50 involved injuries and two resulted in fatalities. State police also handed out tickets for another 4,538 violations, including speeding, failing to have a seat belt and using a cell phone. Troopers also made 65 arrests for driving under the influence that weekend
Those numbers were mostly down from 2010, when state police dealt with 391 accidents, including 57 with injuries, and handed out 5,817 tickets. They also made 80 arrests for driving under the influence.
“Uniformed troopers will use non-traditional patrol cars to observe traffic and issue tickets to reckless distracted drivers,” Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said in a news release. “A reminder to all drivers: if you consume alcohol, never get behind the wheel.”