Extra on Getting There: 3 biggest roadway dangers during holidays

By Ryan Harper, Real-Time Traffic Expert
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017, 4:38 PM EST

AAA projects that 51 million Americans will travel somewhere this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase from last year alone.

With more travelers, that certainly means more drivers — and more dangers to be aware of along the roadways.

Here are the Florida Highway Patrol's top three dangerous trends it projects to see this holiday season, and what troopers are telling drivers to be aware of.

3. Dangerous driving near shopping centers

These are areas where there will certainly be a lot of pedestrians and impatient shoppers. Troopers say they typically see more crashes near malls and stores around this time of year.

"We do see those crashes go up as far as fender-benders on that Thursday and Friday during Thanksgiving and afterward, because they are in a hurry and they just don't want to share the road,” FHP Sgt. Kim Montes says.

2. Bad weather driving

Spectrum News' Weather Experts are projecting rain on the holiday, which should exasperate the traffic mess.

"If we have rain on any one of those days, we expect our volumes to be increased, we expect the congestion to be increased and of course our crashes to go up," Montes says.

Montes says Thanksgiving Day is an especially dangerous day for rain because the roadways are a little more open and more speeders are out, increasing the risk for drivers to lose control of their vehicles.

1. Intoxicated drivers

"During some of our holiday periods, as much as a third of our crashes are alcohol- or drug- related,” Montes says.

Reminder: If you have been drinking, always use a designated driver or to use a ride-sharing company, and do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Here's a look at the most dangerous times to be on the roadway for the next few days, according to WAZE, a travel app that appropriates some of its data from the Florida Department of Transportation.

  • Thursday, Nov. 23, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 24, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 26, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 27, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

So, that means for Thanksgiving itself, be aware of the early afternoon hours.