Tag Archives: travel safety

AAA Holiday Travel Headache Hotspots

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with the American Automobile Association (AAA), reports that based on historical and recent travel trends, they expect drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week – on Wednesday, December 20 and Thursday, December 21 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. For example, drivers in New York City could see travel times peak at three times a normal trip between 3:30 and 5:30pm.

“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metros,” says Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist & head of research at INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak times altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Here are the worst days and times to travel…


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Record-Breaking 107 Million Americans to Celebrate Holidays Away From Home

‘Tis the season to traditionally spend with family and friends and this year Americans are traveling in record numbers. AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, December 23 through Monday, January 1. This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Since 2005, total year-end holiday travel volume has grown by 21.6 million, an increase of more than 25 percent.

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Oversize Overweight Travel Restricted for December Holiday in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Secretary, Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., announced today that all oversize and overweight vehicle movement on all State highways will be prohibited on Monday, December 25 through Tuesday, December 26, 2017 in observance of the Christmas holiday. In observance of the New Year holiday, vehicle movement will be prohibited on Monday, January 1 through Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Wilson said the decision was made in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of State Police, to provide maximum safety for motorists traveling on State highways during this holiday.

The Truck Permit Office will also be closed Monday, December 25 through Tuesday, December 26, 2017 and Monday, January 1 through Tuesday, January 2, 2018.


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I-10 Traffic Switches to New Lanes This Weekend Near Tucson

Drivers heading from northwest Pima County toward downtown Tucson will start using new eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 at Ina Road this weekend.

Beginning Saturday night, Dec. 16, Arizona Department of Transportation crews will begin moving eastbound traffic to the new lanes of I-10 as part of a two-year project to improve both I-10 and Ina Road. The work is expected to be complete the morning of Sunday, Dec. 17.

Also on Sunday, about one mile west of the freeway, Ina Road traffic will switch to a new bridge over the Santa Cruz River. This bridge will carry one lane of traffic in each direction while the old bridge is removed and a second new bridge is built in its place.

The I-10/Ina Road interchange project, which remains on schedule approaching the halfway point, will add a lane in each direction to both I-10 and Ina Road and includes a bridge to carry Ina Road traffic over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The improvements will allow traffic to move more smoothly through the area while enhancing safety.

Westbound I-10 traffic will switch to the new eastbound pavement in mid- to late January. ADOT will maintain three lanes of traffic in each direction until the project is completed in early 2019. When the work is complete, I-10 will have four lanes in each direction, Ina Road two lanes in each direction, and there will be two bridges over the Santa Cruz River, each carrying two lanes of traffic.


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Nearly 51 Million Americans Traveling This Thanksgiving, Highest in a Dozen Years

AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.

“Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season.”

read more…


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I-10 Dubbed One of the Most Deadly Interstates in the Country

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that traffic fatalities have increased 10.4 percent during the first six months of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015.  These increases are most likely the result of more drivers on the road and a greater percentage of these motorists are driving distracted. A recent study found that 61 percent of drivers use their cell phones on some drives, most drives or every drive.

On average, Americans spend 293 hours driving approximately 10,900 miles each year. A detailed study by EverQuote examined the most dangerous interstates in America, based on fatalities per mile. This analysis used raw data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Report System from 2010 through 2015 and found fatality rates based on highway lengths.
That data was then compared to the data from EverQuote’s safe-driving app, EverDrive, representing over 6 million trips and 80 million miles of driving.

That study ranked Interstate 10 the 7th most deadly highway in America.

Interstate 10 runs 2460 miles from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida. The highway is the 7th most dangerous interstate in the country with 0.85 fatalities per mile and the longest interstate on this list. I-10 has been in the top 10 most dangerous interstates for the past six years.


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New Mexico DOT Ready for Winter Weather

New Mexico Department of Transportation crews are prepared to clear the roads and highways as the state begins to experience the winter weather season. Last year, NMDOT crews removed snow and ice from over a million pass miles.

“Our crews across the state are ready to respond to winter weather so we can keep the traveling public safe,” said NMDOT Secretary Tom Church. “If you must get behind the wheel during winter weather conditions please take the necessary precautions and give our crews plenty of room to do their job. We want everyone to make it home safely to their families this season.”

Crews have been preparing their salt and sand spreaders, graders, and snow plows for months. The districts are also constantly monitoring weather reports and ready to respond as soon as they are called.

Throughout the state, NMDOT has 96 graders, 161 loaders, 9 snow blower trucks, and 417 dump trucks with plows and salt spreaders. The Department also has about 49,000 tons of salt and about 16,000 tons of ice slicer ready to help clear the roads.

Please remember these safe winter driving tips:

  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Slow down and leave extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Use brakes carefully and remember that it takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy, and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface such as wet, ice, and sand.
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Don’t crowd the snow plow. Please stay at least 50 feet behind the plow. Be patient and give the driver plenty of room to do the job.
  • Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and shaded areas since they are likely to freeze first and stay frozen the longest.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • Ensure that your vehicles are prepared for winter driving by:
    • Making sure your tires are properly inflated.
    • Never mixing radial tires with other tire types.

“Always pay attention and use caution when you get on the road during winter weather. It could save
your life or someone else’s life,” said Deputy Secretary Anthony Lujan. “And check NMRoads before you
leave – it can help you avoid a dangerous situation.”


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Best, Worst Times to Travel This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this year traffic may prove to be a record breaker.

Traveling I-10 can be a real pain with heavy traffic and plenty of short tempers. Here are a few tips to help make your Thanksgiving holiday voyage less stressful:

Getting There:

  • The absolute worst time to get on the road is the day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday, November 22) and if you leave in mid-afternoon (3:00 p.m.) you definitely won’t be a happy camper once you get there.
  • If you have no choice but to leave on Wednesday, make it as early as possible. Start you trip no later than 6:00 a.m. to avoid traffic delays.
  • The Sunday before Thanksgiving (November 19) is the best day to leave for your Thanksgiving road trip, the earlier, the better.
  • Thanksgiving morning is also a good time to leave, the earlier , the better.

Returning Home:

  • The day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 24) before 6:00 a.m. is the best day and time to return from your Thanksgiving trip.
  • Saturday and Sunday (November 25 and 26) late afternoon are the worst days and times to return from your Thanksgiving road trip. Avoid being on the road between 11:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m. Traffic will be heavy during those times.
  • If you have no choice but to leave on Saturday, try leaving as early as possible (before 6 a.m.) to avoid traffic delays.

Depending on where you’re heading, and how long the trip will be, you might be able to schedule the time when you are on the road to at avoid the worst of it.

Adjust your schedule or route and consider these options:

  • Take a bypass route around large cities
  • Tune to a radio station and monitor the traffic reports
  • If you have mobile access, Use live-traffic-reports.com to monitor traffic
  • Stop at a rest area if headed into heavy traffic and wait until the worst of it has subsided
  • Avoid shopping districts (Black Friday is usually gridlocked around major shopping areas)

Drive responsibly and have a safe trip!


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I-10 Traffic Impacts in Jacksonville This Week

The Florida Department of Transportation reports the following I-10 traffic impacts in Duval County, through Friday, October 20, 2017

  • Continuous off-ramp closure from eastbound I-10 to southbound State Road 23 for paving and to install barrier walls. Follow detour route.
  • Continuous inside eastbound and westbound on and off-ramp closures on I-10 at State Road 23/Cecil Commerce Center Parkway for building the new interchange.

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I-10 and I-5 Connectors in L.A. to Close for ‘Swarm’ Operation

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) plans to close the Westbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) connector to Southbound I-5, and the Southbound I-5 connector to Eastbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) from 4 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, near downtown Los Angeles.

The eight-hour closure will enable Caltrans to conduct a “swarm” maintenance operation involving a wide variety of maintenance tasks. Multiple Caltrans crews assisted by dozens of community service workers will carry out the diverse maintenance duties simultaneously.

For safety, Caltrans will close the following connectors and ramps during the swarm operation:

Connectors:

  • Southbound I-5 connector to Eastbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway)
  • Westbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) connector to Southbound I-5

Ramps:

  • Westbound I-10 State Street off ramp
  • Mission Road on ramp to Southbound I-5
  • Mission Road on ramp to Eastbound I-10
  • Cesar E. Chavez Avenue on ramp to Southbound I-5

Mainline freeway lanes will remain open during the swarm operation.

Caltrans anticipates 100 or more workers will repair pot holes, sweep the roadway, remove litter and graffiti, replace signs, trim trees, clear weeds, repair guardrail and irrigation, re-stripe the
roadway, re-lamp overhead lights, install new ramp meters, inspect and clean drains and culverts, and complete other maintenance needs.

Caltrans reminds drivers to “Be Work Zone Alert” and “Slow for the Cone Zone.”


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