By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
AAA says there could be a record breaking amount of drivers on the road this holiday season.
More than 1.4 million Oregonians will travel more than 50 miles from their home.
“We are seeing record travel for most of the holidays including the year end holidays now for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years,” said Marie Dodds, with AAA Oregon.
The reason is the economy – low unemployment and strength in consumer spending are creating holiday cheer.
“We’re seeing strong economic fundamentals,” Dodds said. “We have low unemployment, and when that’s happening, people feel good about things like travel.”
“We are seeing strong economic fundamentals. We have very low unemployment. People are feeling good about their personal economic situations, and when we have that happening, people feel good about spending money on things like travel.”
Dodds said the busiest days for driving will be the two days after Christmas, especially during the evenings.
And road conditions next week are forecasted to be wet and snowy in Central Oregon.
“We know that weather here in Central Oregon and in the Pacific Northwest in general,” Dodds said. “It can change in a heartbeat. So you want to make sure you’re prepared for snow, slick conditions, and ice.”
Peter Murphy with ODOT says it’s important to be prepared before you leave for your trip.
“Basically that means leaving early if you can, and making sure that you have all the gear you need inside the car, something to entertain the kids, food and drink, that kind of thing,” Murphy said.
He says it’s important to be prepared by bringing extra clothes and necessities in the car in case you get stuck on the roads for longer than expected.
“Just be aware that you may not be in a crash yourself, you maybe stuck in a line, the queue behind the crash. Right now we’re just interested be prepared for the weather we’re gonna be in,” he said.