Holiday travelers are on their way

Thanksgiving travel on Interstate 40, 2012. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More than 43 million people expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday and many headed out on Wednesday to get to their destinations.

Interstates around Knoxville were busy all day Wednesday with nearly 1 million Tennesseans expected to travel for the holiday.

AAA estimates national 39.1 million people will drive, 3 million will fly and another million will go by bus or train. This is the fourth year for Thanksgiving travel to increase. AAA says they believe lower gas prices and confidence in the economy has helped.

"Yea we don't have any family where we live so we travel, but it has been 3 years since we traveled," said Danielle Pyles, traveling on Interstate 40 from Kentucky. "We got stuck in an accident but it's been smooth sailing ever since we got past that."

AAA says Knoxville will be a busy place all weekend with people trying to leave and those who are just passing through.

"In particularly in Knoxville, we've got people coming in from the North, from the South, East, West all converging on Knoxville so we'll see a lot of traffic out there," said Don Lindsey with AAA.

Rest areas were busy with people taking a break from their travels. Tom Wiley, a Rest Area Supervisor, says holidays are the busiest time for his crew trying to keep the facilities clean.

"On a holiday it is crazy. people are in and out constantly. Probably be this way most all night,' said Wiley.

Police remind motorists to slow down and pay attention as they make their travels. They also say after along weekend, don't drive home tired on Sunday or Monday.

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