With gas prices declining, more than 500,000 Oklahomans are projected to hit the road for Thanksgiving, according to AAA Oklahoma.
The non-profit organization also predicted more than 43 million Americans would travel nationwide – a 0.7 percent increase from last year.
Oklahoma will likely see a 1 percent increase.
While it is only a slight increase, it mirrors the feelings across the U.S., AAA Spokesman Chuck Mai said.
“There are some things happening in the economy that are leading to a renewed sense of confidence,” Mai said. “Even though gas prices are historically high, they have come down 60 cents in the last two months in Oklahoma.”
However, travel may not increased as much as some had hoped, he added.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Mai said. “There is some optimism, but gas is still $3.15 a gallon. That’ll take a chunk out of a family’s budget.”
While Shawnee gas prices remain at $3.07 per gallon, on average, prices are expected to continue declining for the rest of the year, Mai said.
While prices historically rise on average during the holidays, Mai said this is no longer the case. Prices are more based on politics and conflicts, rather than inflation due to holidays, he said.
Mai added that anyone traveling should get plenty of rest, wear their seatbelts and avoid distractions.
“Most crashes are preventable,” he said.