South Georgia drivers prepare for holiday traffic

Published: Nov. 19, 2018 at 6:02 PM EST
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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

November 19, 2018

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Drivers started to hit the road in South Georgia Monday, hoping to beat some of the infamous Thanksgiving traffic.

AAA is estimating nearly 50 million Americans will be out on the roads traveling for the holiday. That's why many drivers near the Florida-Georgia line said they were getting a head start.

"Busy, but they're going to get busier," said Oda Hanners, describing her experience on the roads Monday. Hanners is traveling to Atlanta with her sister, JoeAnn Gidlow, a tradition the two have kept up for years.

"Definitely much more travel on the roads," Gladlow said.

Thanksgiving break also came early for Colin and Christine Gibley.

"We didn't want to leave too late, because once you get to Wednesday or Thursday the traffic can get a little worse," Colin said.

AAA is predicting this will be the busiest travel holiday in more than a decade, and some drivers are noticing.

"It was moving fast, there were a lot of cars, just moving fast," Christine said.

In Lowndes County, prices have been dropping at the pump. But, Gas Buddy said the national average for this Thanksgiving is expected to be the highest in four years. The prices are not stopping many holiday drivers.

"It's nice to be out on the road," Hanners said. "We can stop whenever we want to, which is wonderful. We don't have to worry about clocks and work, anything like that, so we thought we'd get ahead of the game."

The destinations may differ, but for many, the same purpose stands out.

"Being with family, family is important," Hanners and Gladlow said.

"Sharing time with family, and the grandchildren," said the Dibleys.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will be halting all lane closures on the interstate and major state roads through the weekend. That will begin Wednesday.

Georgia State Patrol said its holiday schedule runs from Wednesday to Sunday, which means patrol officers will be out fully staffed, helping drivers get to where they're going safely.

GSP officials want to remind drivers of the hands free law throughout the state, and to keep the phones down.