Hitting the road: Driving safe and avoiding traffic this holiday weekend

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — According to AAA, 53 million people nationally will be traveling this holiday weekend.

Of those, 90% will travel by car, and Illinois is projected to have 2.7 million travelers, with 2.5 million driving.

Roads are expected to be mostly congested tomorrow between 1:30 and 6 p.m. While being careful while driving is always advised, this weekend, it could matter even more.

Tina Schallhorn’s family is driving to Peoria from Canada.

“I haven’t seen my dad in two years since the pandemic started,” she said. “He is traveling today … and trying to avoid tomorrow’s traffic, then driving back on Saturday instead of Sunday. The borders are probably going to be pretty busy. It’s the first major holiday since the board reopened.”

Before hitting the road, Tazewell County Deputy Sheriff Nathan Hastings said to make sure cars are in good shape.

“[Make sure] your tires are good and properly inflated. Have a full tank of gas. We always suggest you have an emergency kit in your vehicle: blankets, bottles of water, and snacks,” he said.

Molly Hart with AAA said they’re expecting 400,000 calls for roadside assistance over the holiday weekend.

“Should something happen and you need to pull to the side of the road, please stay in your vehicle and wait for a tow-truck operator to come to your assistance. And always keep your seatbelts on,” she said.

Drivers should also be cautious of construction on the roads, and the sheer number of cars.

“The number of people traveling whether by plane or by car this year is back to what the numbers looked like close to 2019,” she said.

Although it may be difficult, Hastings advises drivers to practice patience.

“There’s going to be a lot more people on the road, so don’t get frustrated. Road rage happens,” she said.

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