Millions expected to drive, fly during holiday weekend - FOX 32 News Chicago

Millions expected to drive, fly during holiday weekend

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Thanksgiving travel has increased each year since 2008, and this weekend is expected to be no different.

The American Automobile Association estimates 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving weekend -- a slight increase over last year. In Illinois, about 2.3 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles.

AAA projects a small decrease in air travel this year, but the city's Department of Aviation is expecting about 1.8 million people will pass through O'Hare and Midway airports between Tuesday and Nov. 27.

Airlines project Sunday will be the busiest travel day at both airports, according to the Dept. of Aviation. O'Hare is expecting more than 250,000 passengers Sunday and Midway 78,000.

The temperature is expected to reach about 60 degrees Wednesday and Thursday, with highs in the 30s and low-40s through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. There is a 40 percent chance of showers Thursday night.

Travelers taking the train to or from the airport should note the CTA will run on a Sunday / holiday schedule on Thanksgiving. Trains will operate on a normal schedule Friday.

Metra will also run on a Sunday / holiday schedule.

AAA projects most Illinois residents, about 2 million, will travel by auto.

"Thanksgiving is a very dangerous time of years as far as road safety goes," said AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher. "People need to keep in mind the volume of people on the roads. With the increase in volume comes an increase in the likelihood you could get in an accident.

"Three words of wisdom: buckle-up, slow down and don't drink and drive."

Illinois State Police announced Tuesday it will increase enforcement patrols. Officers will patrol the interstates, conduct roadside safety checks and enforce the "Fatal Four" -- speeding, DUI, seatbelts and distracted driving, according to a State Police statement.

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