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AAA: Fewer South Dakotans to travel for Thanksgiving 2020

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courtesy: Courtesy Wiki Commons / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic(KNOE)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 1:59 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A new survey suggests that four out of five South Dakotans will not be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, many of whom will staying put because of the pandemic.

AAA released the results of the Thursday. It found 83% of South Dakota residents will be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Just under half - 44% - said they are not traveling because of COVID-19. The rest said they were not planning on traveling anyway.

AAA spokesperson Marilyn Buskohl said the number of people planning on traveling for the holiday is down “substantially,” though AAA did not have a projection on the actual percentage decline in South Dakota.

“AAA’s past projections were based on economic factors which typically have the greatest influence on Americans’ Thanksgiving travel plans, but this year with COVID-19 and the economic hit a lot of people have had make it difficult to compare to past years,” Buskohl said.

The survey was released the same day the Centers for Disease Control issued an advisory pleading with Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Of those planning to travel, 94% will drive, four percent plant to fly, and two percent will travel by bus or train.

Those who do plan to drive can expect lower prices at the pump. AAA says the average price of gas in South Dakota is $2.09, which is two cents cheaper than a month ago and 42 cents cheaper than this time last year.

Despite the drop in number of people traveling for the holiday, AAA is expecting thousands of calls for Emergency Roadside Service. Last year over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA responded to almost 550 calls for help just in South Dakota.

“COVID-19 adds an extra layer of complexity to all interactions, including roadside emergency calls, so this year it is more important than ever for all motorists to ensure that their vehicles are road-ready, even if they are just driving across town,” Buskohl adds.

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