1.3 million North Carolinians expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – More than 1.3 million North Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to AAA Carolinas, nearly 90 percent of those travelers will drive to their destinations.

Drivers are expected to experience the lowest gas prices since 2008, according to AAA Carolinas.

“North Carolinians will enjoy an early holiday bonus with cheaper prices at the pump,” said Dave E. Parsons, AAA Carolinas President and CEO. “Lower gas prices should help families kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway.”

Gas prices in North Carolina have declined steadily over the past few months. The statewide average is $2.07; that’s down 70 cents from last year’s Thanksgiving holiday.

The Thanksgiving holiday period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 29. The highest number of travelers on the road will depart for their destinations on Wednesday and most will return on Sunday.

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period, Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 29, is also one of the most dangerous holidays for drivers. Last year, the number of deaths on North Carolina highways during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend nearly tripled the previous year with 32 fatalities compared to 12 in 2013.

“With Thanksgiving being the busiest travel weekend of the year we want to remind everyone to take extra measures to be safe on the road. We encourage all motorists to be defensive drivers and eliminate distractions behind the wheel,” said Parsons.

North Carolina motorists can expect to see lower gas prices in the bordering states of South Carolina ($1.88), Virginia ($1.94), Tennessee ($1.93), and Georgia ($2.05).

About 46,000 North Carolinians will travel by air. Those flying will experience cheaper airfares than last Thanksgiving. Airfares are projected to decrease 10 percent.

To estimate fuel costs, travelers can go to http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com to input starting city, destination, and the make and model of their car.

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