AAA sees highest number of Thanksgiving travelers in years

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - The holiday weekend is wrapping up and that means it's time to head home.

According to AAA, they saw the highest number of people traveling for Thanksgiving since 2007.

Ninety percent of South Dakotans who traveled drove.

KSFY reached out to people gassing up in Sioux Falls to find out why they decided to hit the road over the weekend.

Nationwide, there are one million more drivers on the road today than this time last year.

People stopping at the Flying J in Sioux Falls were traveling from relatively near...

"I go to school in Minneapolis, so that's about a five and a half hour drive for me to get here," Kendra Degeest said.

And far..

"Well, actually we were coming from Washington," Wayman Kennedy said. "So we are just driving through."

AAA said the number of people traveling for holidays is rising every year.

"The economy is better, people's wages are getting higher," Marilyn Buskohl with AAA said.

But this year in particular, there is one factor driving people to hit the road.

"Honestly, I think the reason why we're seeing more people this year is the low gas prices, because nationwide, the gas prices are down compared to what they've been," Buskohl said.

While cheap gas is a great reason to take a road trip for the holidays, many people in Sioux Falls said the weather was a deciding factor.

"Yeah, I did check the forecast. Up in the Cities, we got dumped on, like five inches before I left," Degeest said. "So, I was really nervous, but it cleared up over here. So it worked out well."

"I don't have to be afraid of the black ice, which is pretty nice too," Kennedy said.

It rained in many areas around South Dakota Sunday, which made some areas dicey for drivers."

AAA officials ask people to drive slow and take their time if they're driving through harsh weather conditions.