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Holiday spoiler alert: roads are going to be crowded

Lake Charles sits between two of America's great cities: Houston, Texas, and Louisiana's own New Orleans. So it is not surprising to see holiday travelers on Interstate 10 headed from one to the other, and to see thousands more coming here to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.

It is reasonable to assume that I-10 is going to busier this holiday season than it has for some time. AAA expects that because of a strong economy and upbeat consumers, Americans are going to hit the roads in greater numbers than they have in a dozen years. The good news is tempered by the fact that increased holiday traffic means motor vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities are likely to rise as well.

AAA says the data indicates that more than 50 million people will travel at least 50 miles in the 5-day period that begins Wednesday morning and ends Sunday night. The vast majority (89 percent) will be driving, while about 8 percent will fly.

The auto club expects that travel by car will rise by 3.2 percent or so over Thanksgiving 2016 (even though gasoline prices are also up), and that air travel will go up 5 percent.

Warm weather spots are high on the list of go-to travel destinations this year, with two homes of Disney theme parks atop the list: Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California.

Eager for a little cold weather? New York and San Francisco are high on that chilly list of popular travel spots.

No matter where you are going, please drive safely so that you and your family and friends can enjoy each other's company and a happy holiday together.

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