More than 1.8 million Wisconsinites expected to travel - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

More than 1.8 million Wisconsinites expected to travel this holiday season


WEST SALEM, Wisconsin (WXOW) – AAA is projecting that 30 percent of Americans will be traveling between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1.

That means about 94.5 million people will be taking to the air, rails and the roads – the most common form of holiday travel.

When drivers are on the road this holiday season, state troopers, like Kris Anderson, are watching.

"(We) just tend to see a lot more traffic," Anderson said. "People (are) pushing their speeds and trying to get to their destinations as fast as possible. (We're) just asking people to slow down."

State Patrol already has all their squad cars on the road, and they'll stay there until Jan. 1, Anderson said.

When a trooper pulls someone over, speed is the number one factor. That often correlates with crashes, Anderson added.

"It's usually the major metropolitan areas where we have the biggest back-up and traffic volume," he said.

About 1.8 million Wisconsinites are expected to travel for the holidays, according to AAA. It's an increase in holiday travel for the fifth consecutive year.

"(It's) kinda like it's a battle to be the first one home, even though we're all going to different places," said Johnny Korbel, describing highway traffic.

Korbel pulled over to a rest stop between Wisconsin and Minnesota to take a break from people swerving in and out of lanes on the highway.

He said he's been driving slowly while making the six-hour trip from Madison, Wis. to Sioux Falls, S.D.

"Everyone else is driving kinda not slow, I don't know, somebody's gotta not be driving crazy," he said.

The busiest holiday travel weekends are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to State Patrol.

AAA expects traffic to be the heaviest Monday, Dec. 23 through Friday, Dec. 27.

Driving in bad weather and traffic makes a road trip more dangerous.

The Better Business Bureau has some tips on how to get to a destination safely:

  • Create a car safety kit in case of car troubles or long delays. Fill it with a blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit and a jumper cable. Some non-perishable food and bottled water are also good additions.
  • Get a tune-up. Make sure the car's fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure are up to code.
  • Start early and slow down, make sure there's extra time to get places. Traffic and road conditions can constantly chance.
  • Drop the distractions and don't talk on the phone or text while driving.
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