PEORIA, Ill (WMBD) — Although Labor Day travel isn’t as busy as Christmas or Thanksgiving, you can still expect a lot more travelers on the road and in the skies.
More cars on the road create a higher potential for crashes. Illinois State Trooper Jayme Bufford said the top four causes of crashes, also known as the “Fatal Four” are driving under the influence, speeding, distracted driving and not wearing your seatbelt.
“We can all slow down, take our time. The roadways are going to be busy,” she said.
It’s also a good idea to know where you’re going ahead of time, in case your route hits a snag.
“Have a couple different routes in mind before you even start your journey, start your trip, to be sure you get there safe,” said Bufford.
At Peoria International Airport, approximately 6,500 passengers are expected from Friday through Monday, said director of airports Gene Olson.
“The airlines haven’t added any extra flights, but we do expect the flights to be pretty full. So the secret this weekend is get here early and have patience,” he said.
Olson said airlines reduced the number of flights during the pandemic as demand plummeted from 60,000 to 2,800 passengers in April 2020.
Travel has since rebounded. Olson said July was their “fourth busiest month ever” and the airport is on track to break 600,000 passengers this year. The record was 689,000 passengers in 2019.
“We’re definitely back to what I would call normal loads and even busy times…So when you have fewer seats and just as much demand as you had before COVID, you’re going to see the ticket prices going up,” he said.
According to AAA, domestic travel is up four percent since last year and up 44 percent for international travel.
If you’re driving to your destination, the best times to travel are early in the morning or in the evening. According to transportation data provider Inrix, the worst time to travel was Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Higher traffic volumes are also expected Friday until 9 p.m.