Officials at the American Automobile Association have predicted that a record-setting 5.9 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more for the Christmas holidays this year. That’s the most since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2001.
The Auto Club Group projects additional 266,000 Floridians will hit the holiday highways and skyways this year.
“Low gas prices and a strong economy continues to drive up demand for seasonal travel,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “With more Floridians hitting the road than ever before, AAA urges drivers to reduce the risk of a holiday hazard. Get your vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic, minimize distractions while behind the wheel, and do not drive impaired.”
During this festive Christmas season, the Florida Highway Patrol is joining with other law enforcement agencies and will be cracking down on impaired driving by sharing the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“Troopers and our law enforcement partners will actively be looking for impaired drivers this holiday season,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “If you drink or are under the influence any substance, be responsible and have a designated driver or ride share service get you to your destination safely.”
To help ensure your safety, the FHP will be out on the highways to aid motorists and remove dangerous drivers from the road. FHP Auxiliary troopers will also volunteer to augment the FHP during the holiday period. The increased presence throughout Florida helps to deter traffic violations and enhance services to motorists who need assistance while traveling.
To make sure you get to your holiday destination and back home safely, FHP has the following travel tips:
Your seat belt is your vehicle’s best safety feature. Buckle Up!
Don’t drink and drive. If you are planning to have drinks, make sure you have a designated driver to make sure everyone gets home safely.
Don’t drive distracted. Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving.
Get plenty of rest before you head out on your journey. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Obey speed limits and practice courtesy on the highway. You’re not the only one trying to get somewhere for the holidays.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday!
Motorists should call *FHP (*347) if they see an impaired or aggressive driver, or to request roadside assistance.
Declining gas prices also is spurring travel. At current levels, Florida drivers will find the lowest holiday gas prices in three years. A Dec. 16 report showed the average gas price in Florida at $2.31 per gallon. That’s four cents less than what motorists paid on Christmas Day 2017, 13 cents less than the price on New Year’s Day 2018.
Visit GasPrices.AAA.com to view daily gas price averages
“Gas prices should be somewhat erratic over the next couple of weeks,” said Jenkins. “Gas prices have fully adjusted to the drop in the price of crude. After declining 54 cents in the past 9 weeks, it appears the plunge at the pump is over.
The Florida average price has already inched up a few pennies this week, but AAA does not forecast any major gains before the holidays, unless oil prices suddenly surge.
But whether you go a-traveling or stay at home, we at the Florida Fun Zone wish you a Merry & Blessed Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year!