(KRON) — While it may seem Thanksgiving has snuck up on us this year, travel authorities have definitely been preparing for it. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year for travel as people use planes, trains and automobiles to get to their loved ones.
The California Highway Patrol is preparing for its annual Thanksgiving Maximum Effort Period to prevent as many crashes, injuries and fatalities on the roads as possible. This period begins on Wednesday at 6:01 p.m. and stretches until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. throughout California.
“Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and celebration, but the holiday is also associated with increased travel and a higher risk of traffic incidents,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.
In 2022, 37 people were killed in car accidents and 1,016 people were arrested for driving under the influence over the four-day period in CHP’s jurisdiction, officials said. Additionally, 8,600 citations were issued for speed and seat belt violations.
“Our officers will be on patrol to take enforcement action as necessary and to provide assistance to motorists who are stranded or in need of help on the side of the road,” Duryee said.
Amtrak officials said in 2022, they carried more than 700,000 passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday and are expecting an influx of travelers this year. Officials said the busiest travel days were the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving but there were also 115,000 passengers traveling on the Sunday following Turkey Day.
The busiest travel day so far this year at San Francisco International Airport was last Friday with 144,000 travelers reported, according to SFO officials. But officials said they are only expecting numbers to increase with about 143,000 travelers passing through SFO on Tuesday and Wednesday each, and a total of 6.3 million passengers between Thanksgiving and New Years. This accounts for about 87 percent of pre-pandemic travelers.
Due to the increase in travelers this holiday season, airport officials said they expect parking lots to be full and traffic getting through the airport to increase. If you are flying this year, officials recommend booking parking in advance and allowing extra time before your flight.