WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 27, 2013, 06:26 PM

Travelers to expect an increase in traffic around Thanksgiving

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Traveling to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving?

By: Brian Abel, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Traveling to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving?

Get ready for the congestion.

Today is the busiest travel day of the year, and with so many motorists on the road, officials are saying that safety is still the biggest concern.

Gene Ladoucer/Spokesman, AAA ND: "We expect about 43 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more and of those about 39 million will be traveling by automobile, so obviously the roads are going to be busy and people need to plan in advance. And obviously take safety into consideration. Unfortunately there is going to be someone probably from North Dakota and Minnesota who won’t make it home."

During the previous two Thanksgiving travel periods, seven people were killed on the roads in Minnesota.

Alcohol was involved in five of those deaths.

Minnesota State Police say over 1,500 drivers were arrested for DWI's in that time frame, and those who want to drink this year should find a sober ride in advance.

Jesse Grabow/Sargent, MN State Patrol: "There’s going to be increased amount of traffic and with that there's a potential for more crashes, more alcohol related incidences, that type of thing. So we just want everybody to pay attention, slow it down, make sure your buckled up and not drinking and driving. And that's just it, it comes down to creating safe roads and in order to create safe roads we need to make safe decisions."

Triple A expects a million fewer holiday travelers than last year, chalking it up to economic uncertainty.