Holiday travel begins

Holiday travel is already underway as millions of Americans get ready to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. AAA expects about a hundred million people will travel this holiday season and most of them will be driving to their destinations.

The cost of gas is playing a major role in why more people are driving this year. According to AAA, the average price for a regular gallon nationwide is $2.01. That’s down from 37 cents from this time last year.

In Texas and Austin the average price is about $1.79. That’s down about 40 cents from last year.

AAA expects that about 100 million Americans will travel over the next week. More than eight million from Texas and with the added cars on the road you can expect a lot of traffic.

Experts advise people to be prepared for any type of weather event, especially if you’re traveling out of state.

Texas troopers are also on patrol cracking down on drunk drivers and other traffic violations over the eight day holiday period.

APD is also in another “No Refusal” initiative. Anyone suspected of driving drunk who refuses a breathalyzer will be forced by court order to give a blood or breath sample. Officials want to remind anyone out celebrating that buzzed driving is drunk driving.

TxDOT’s Chris Bishop says, “You don't have to be legally drunk to have problems behind the wheel that's just a number law officers use .08 you'll remember that but just one drink can affect your judgment your reflexes your vision and as you're driving a 300 pound vehicle it doesn't take much to distract you or help you get into an accident."

DPS has some tips to keep you safe as you travel over the holidays:

  • Designate a driver or catch a ride if you’ve been drinking.
  • Slow down
  • Put away your phone
  • Buckle up
  • Never drive tried
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