Lynchburg, VA- We're just hours away from celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, and that means the next several hours are prime travel time.
According to AAA, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. And of course, the more vehicles you have on the road, the more accidents you have as well. Especially when you have impatient drivers anxious to get home for Thanksgiving.
"More than speeding, I've noticed people weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, that sort of thing," said Sgt. D.J. Edwards with State Police.
Aggressive drivers racing each other to make it home first, make a packed highway, that much more dangerous.
According to AAA, around 43.6 million people will be traveling this Thanksgiving. Nearly 90% of those travelers will be on the road, something Sgt. Edwards can vouch for.
"I've been out since about 10:30 this morning, and I've noticed as the day has progressed, I've noticed the volume of traffic has increased dramatically," said Edwards.
Despite higher gas prices, there's been a steady increase in Thanksgiving travel since 2008. Compare last year's average price of three $3.43 cents a gallon, to this year's $3.71.
But somehow, people are finding ways to make the trip, giving State Police a busier holiday.
"It is one of four holidays we have 75% of our personnel on the roads. So 75% of the troopers throughout the state are on the highways during this travel period that's considered the Thanksgiving holiday," said Edwards.
Although police will be out in force, AAA says Thursday starts one of the year's deadliest weeks of traffic crashes. If you're on the road, Sgt. Edwards has some tips to keep you safe.
"Just be patient, give yourself extra time, wear your seatbelt, and realize that there are going to be delays."