The holidays can be a hectic time, but there are a number of things to remember whether you plan to travel or stay closer to home.
If you do decide to get on the road, you should know that you will not be alone. According to AAA Carolinas, Thanksgiving travel volume in North Carolina is expected to increase 1 percent this year, due in part to the dramatic drop in gas prices.
A total of 1,260,500 North Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, the report said. About 1,134,000 or 90 percent of those will drive, an increase of about 11,000 travelers over last year, AAA said. Holiday travel, which traditionally begins today and runs through Sunday is considered one of the most dangerous because of its four-day length and the congestion caused by the highway vacationers.
“Thanksgiving is the most traditional family holiday with the ‘turkey day’ always coming on a Thursday, creating a guaranteed four-day holiday for many,” said David E. Parsons, president of AAA Carolinas. “The lower price at the pump will encourage more people to drive this Thanksgiving.”
Gas prices in North Carolina have dropped significantly in the past two months. The statewide average was $3.31 on Tuesday, down 54 cents since peaking in mid-September at $3.85. North Carolinians are paying four cents less at the pump compared to last Thanksgiving, when they paid $3.35.
North Carolina motorists can expect to see lower gas prices in the bordering states of South Carolina ($3.13), Virginia ($3.24), Tennessee ($3.16) and Georgia ($3.26).
Home for the holidays
Those planning to stay home need to remember another set of holiday safety tips, according to State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment.
Godwin’s office strongly discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. These turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures, and units currently available for home use pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property, he said.
“With so much going on, I want to make sure that families take precautions to make the holiday a happy one,” said Goodwin. “One way to do that is to keep some safety tips in mind while preparing that big Thanksgiving meal.”