Expect lots of traffic Thanksgiving weekend

In Wisconsin, nearly 1 million people will be traveling for Thanksgiving, according to AAA.

Whether driving or flying, experts recommend preparing for a busy commute.

Wednesday night’s drivers should have decent weather across the state, but even with good driving conditions, AAA said drivers need to be cautious.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Jay Kedrowski said his drive home should take about 3.5 hours, but on the biggest travel day of the year, he said he never knows what he’ll run into.

“If it’s rush hour, I kind of have to plan ahead, and it’s going to take a while, but otherwise, you just deal with it,” Kedrowski said. “I mean, there’s always the holiday rush, but what do you do?”

Fellow UW-L student Lizzy Wlodyga has about an hour less on her drive home but said on her commute, it’s not the holiday traffic that would slow her down.

“Whenever it snows, it’s hard. So not necessarily the holidays, but weather is a big factor,” Wlodyga said.

For those choosing to travel on Wednesday, weather isn’t expected to cause any slowdowns, but Thanksgiving Day could bring with it some snow and ice. AAA Wisconsin recommends drivers give themselves some extra time to get to your destination.

“Well, any time there’s going to be some winter weather, it’s a good idea, the best thing you can do is to slow down and increase your following distance from the car in front of you,” Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs at AAA, said.

AAA recommends all drivers have a kit in their car during the winter in case they were to break down. The kit should include jumper cables, tools, windshield washer fluid, ice scraper, a reflector device or flare, first-aid kit, work gloves, flashlight, warm clothing and a blanket.

AAA estimates nearly 900,000 people on the road in Wisconsin this Thanksgiving. The company said especially for those traveling over the river and into construction zones, drivers need to be paying attention.

“The three most important things that I tell any one who is driving for any reason is to stay sober, belted and focused when you’re behind the wheel,”¬†Jarmusz said.

Jarmusz said part of the reason so many travelers will be driving this weekend is because gas prices are likely the lowest they’ve been for the holiday weekend since 2008.

AAA said those who are flying this weekend should also be prepared for long lines. The company said this is one of, if not the busiest weekend at the airport, and with increased security due to recent terror threats, flyers should try to get to the airport earlier than normal.