COLORADO SPRINGS — Give other cars plenty of space and give yourself plenty of time as record travel is expected by AAA this holiday weekend.
“We’re going to be out there on the roads, we’re going to be frustrated with everyone else out there and we’re going to say, ‘Boy, I hate traffic.’ Welll, you have to remember every second that you say you hate traffic, the odds are pretty good that you are traffic,” Skyler McKinley, spokesperson for AAA Colorado said.
AAA expects 960,000 travelers in the state, with just 62,000 of them flying to their destination. If it pans out, that will make it the busiest Thanksgiving travel week by volume in Colorado history with the most per-capita travelers since 2005.
“We’re already going to have a lot of thanksgiving travelers so, no matter where you go there’s going to be traffic,” McKinley said. But, where there’s really going to be a lot of chokepoints is where you have commuters and workers mixing with people who have the day off and are going to be traveling.”
McKinley suggests avoiding the morning rush hour of 8:30-9:30 a.m. and the evening congestion from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
With below-freezing temperatures expected for much of the northern Front Range, snow and ice are likely to cover main roads.
Experts say to give plenty of following room, make sure tires have at least 3/16 of an inch of tread, carry chains and use the tools your car gives you.
“Let your engine do the slowing down for you,” Said Mailey Gray, the executive director of Drive Smart Colorado, “Both automatic and certainly manual transmissions have the ability to shift down into lower gears. Using your brakes can help you slide.”
Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can help in snow and can help cars get going out of a stop, but they don’t help at all when it comes to stopping.
AAA Colorado expects Sunday to be the busy return day, particularly in the afternoon.
McKinley reminds drivers to keep a cool head, expect that traffic is going to happen and to make the most of it.
“At least we get to drive in Colorado which is recently snow-covered. It’s beautiful, it’s a chance to spend time either alone or with family and just decompresses.”