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Millions to take to the roadways for holiday travel: How to save on gas, avoid a ticket

AAA projects 2.3 million Wisconsinites will travel 50 miles or more from December 23 to January 1. That’s an increase of nearly 2.7% over last year.
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Posted at 9:27 AM, Dec 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-21 10:27:22-05

WAUKESHA — As millions are expected to fly this holiday season, millions more will take to the roadways to visit family and friends during this weekend.

AAA projects 2.3 million Wisconsinites will travel 50 miles or more from December 23 to January 1. That’s an increase of nearly 2.7% over last year.

"People are gonna take advantage of the fact that there's a weekend preceding the holiday that they can do their traveling on. There may be some folks heading out early on Friday that would then be mixing in with the normal Friday commuters on the twenty-second, but for the most part, we're expecting the biggest crunch to be on Saturday," said Nick Jarmusz Director of Public Affairs for AAA Wisconsin.

The holiday travel rush comes as gas prices have fallen across the state. According to AAA, on Wednesday, the average price of gas sat at $3.09 nationally for regular unleaded. The state of Wisconsin is at $2.76, and in Appleton, that average is even lower at $2.66 a gallon.

While people will be hitting the roadways, state patrol will also be out monitoring the interstate.

"Check the weather, check your route, and be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition," said Trooper John Corey.

He said the most common mistake drivers make that could lead to a crash is being behind the wheel distracted.

"It’s not just keeping your phone down," said Corey. "It’s also paying attention to the roadway conditions, how good the tread on your tires is, and paying attention to the following distance between the vehicle in front of you, paying attention to your speed, all those things play a factor that we make it from point A to point B."

Corey says for your weekend travel, always give yourself extra time so you don't feel like you're in a rush. And if you are in a crash, he suggests these steps.

"If anything does happen, pull to the side of the road out of traffic, activate your four-way flashers, call 911, and give a good idea of where you are so we can get help to you," said Corey.