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Moving the American Economy - U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 9, 2005
Contact: Brian C. Keeter
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 14-05

Federal Highway Administration Offers Holiday Travel Tips To Save Time And Gas, Improve Safety

The Federal Highway Administration is encouraging drivers to follow a few simple tips that will help them avoid traffic delays and stay safe when on the road visiting family and friends during the upcoming holiday travel rush.

The travel tips promote planning ahead and following safe driving habits at a time when many more vehicles will be on the nation's highways. Long-distance travel increases about 23 percent during the December holiday season, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Before departing for holiday trips, drivers should first research the best route and time to travel, helping them steer clear of traffic congestion and other trouble spots. Traveling during non-peak commuting periods can reduce travel time as much as 37 percent compared to trips during peak rush hours.

For real-time updates on traffic, construction areas, lane closures and travel times on interstates and major highways, travelers may take advantage of 511 telephone services now operating in 24 states. A list of 511 telephone services and links to travel web sites with information on traffic jams, weather and road conditions is available on the FHWA web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/index.htm.

After planning ahead, drivers should remember that safety comes first and ensure that they and their passengers buckle up. In 2004, an estimated 55 percent of those killed in passenger vehicle crashes were not wearing safety belts. Other safety tips include avoiding tailgating, obeying speed limits and slowing down in work zones and bad weather.

"Following these tips will help drivers save time and fuel and keep their families safe this holiday season," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka.

The travel tips are available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/holidaytraveltips.htm.

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