Millions going 'over the river, through the woods'
Record number of Thanksgiving travelers
November 27, 1996
ATLANTA (CNN) -- With Thanksgiving just a day away, it's time to go over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house. But most Americans won't be going in a horse-drawn sleigh.
According to the Automobile Association of America, 83 percent of the record 32 million Americans planning to travel more than 100 miles for holiday feasts will be going by car, with the remainder traveling by plane, train or bus.
Higher gas prices -- on average 15 cents a gallon more than last year -- haven't slowed the flow. Neither have high- profile train and airplane accidents.
Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport was bracing for 250,000 air passengers Wednesday, a fraction of the 1.6 million people planning to travel by air nationwide that day. In addition to Hartsfield, airports in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be among the busiest.
"People just feel that travel is not something that's a luxury anymore. It's a necessity, and particularly at this time of year, people want to get home," said Nancy Caravat of the American Society of Travel Agents.
Everyone seems to be going somewhere, and that's just the problem:
The situation won't be much better on the roads. Experts are advising drivers to keep their cool. Aggressive driving has joined drunken driving as one of the most-feared highway threats. Nationally, death and injuries attributed to aggressive driving have climbed 51 percent since 1990.
"Realize there are several million people on the same roads you are, and they're not there to annoy you. They're doing the same thing you are. So try to take it easy, and not be so aggressive towards other drivers," said Patrick Boyle of the American Automobile Association
And remember, it could be worse. Massive snowstorms in much of the country foiled holiday travelers last year. This year, the weather will be favorable for most travelers -- with little rain or snow predicted.
Correspondent Jonathan Karl contributed to this report.
Related CNN sections:
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.