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5 things you need to know before hitting the road for Thanksgiving

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HOUSTON – While 140,000 people flying through Houston on Wednesday, almost 4 million Texans will be hitting the roads, according to AAA. 

1) If you can, AAA officials advise that you leave any other time but tonight after work.
AAA representatives in Houston said Wednesday night between 5:45-7 p.m. is the worst time to leave to your Thanksgiving destination due to traffic and rush hour.

2) Avoid the 10 areas listed below as hotspots this Thanksgiving travel season.

Houston's top traffic hotspots during Thanksgiving week 2017 by rank and location

  •     I-610 S @ BEECHNUT ST/EXIT 5
  •     I-10 E @ US-59/EXIT 770
  •     US-59 S @ BELTWAY 8/SAM HOUSTON TOLLWAY
  •     I-610 N @ W 11TH ST/EXIT 11
  •     I-45 N @ PARK ROAD 40/EXIT 109
  •     I-10 W @ PEACH RIDGE RD/DONIGAN RD/EXIT 730
  •     I-45 N @ I-10/US-90/EXIT 48
  •     TX-1488 E @ BUNTING RD
  •     US-59 N @ RUNNELS ST/CANAL ST
  •     US-290 E @ ANTOINE DR
  • 3) If possible, leave on Thanksgiving morning.

    It's a night and day comparison of how busy both the roads and airways will be.

    "There are a lot less travelers on Thanksgiving day compared to all the rush and traffic of the night before Thanksgiving," said Bill Begley, with Houston Airports.

    4) Do more than just fill up your gas tank.

    AAA suggests having water, blankets, chargers, batteries and a flashlights in case you become stranded on the road. 

    5) Be alert. At least one person has died on Texas roadways every day since Nov. 7, 2000.

    It's a grim statistic from TxDOT, as officials are pushing the "End the Streak" campaign to stop the pattern of daily deaths on Texas roads. With millions of people on the roads for Thanksgiving, officials said now, especially, is a time to remind people to pay attention. 

    “It’s heartbreaking to know somebody has lost a spouse, child, friend or neighbor every day for the past 17 years on Texas roadways,” TxDOT executive director James Bass said. “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of these deadly crashes are due to driver error -- things like distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving. We can stop this deadly streak if every driver makes it a priority to be safe, focused and responsible. Let’s end the streak.”