TALLAHASSEE – More than two million Floridians are expected to take to the state’s roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to AAA. The majority of travelers plan to leave Wednesday and return on Sunday, which could result in heavy traffic on major roadways throughout the state. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) encourages travelers to check its 511 Traveler Information System to get the latest information on crashes, congestion, construction and more on all of Florida’s interstates, toll roads and other major metropolitan roadways.
“Our goal is to keep Florida’s roadways safe,” said FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad. “The 511 system allows Thanksgiving travelers to find out if there is congestion or a crash ahead so they can make the smartest travel decisions and arrive at their destination safely.”
There are four convenient ways for motorists to receive traffic updates:
* Call 511 toll free for updates in English and Spanish.
* Visit FL511.com, with interactive roadway maps showing traffic congestion and crashes, travel times and traffic camera views.
* Download the free Florida 511 mobile apps available on Google Play and iTunes.
* Follow one of the 12 statewide, regional or roadway-specific feeds on Twitter.
AAA forecasts nearly 39 million Americans will travel nationwide by automobile during Thanksgiving, accounting for approximately 90 percent of all holiday travelers.
In addition to traffic information on Florida roadways, 511 provides free transfers to public transit, airports and seaports and the option to be transferred to 511 systems in Georgia and Louisiana for motorists traveling out of state.
FDOT reminds all travelers to check 511 before driving, have a passenger check 511 while on the road or pull over to avoid distracted driving.
Traffic Updates on Twitter
For traffic updates via Twitter, FDOT encourages travelers to follow the Florida 511 Twitter feeds for roadways and regions along their route, including:
* FL511 Statewide
* FL511 Northeast
* FL511 Panhandle
* FL511 Central Florida
* FL511 Tampa Bay
* FL511 Southeast
* FL511 Southwest
* FL511 I-4
* FL511 I-10
* FL511 I-75
* FL511 I-95
* FL511 Florida’s Turnpike
Thanksgiving Travel Safety Tips
* Call 511 before driving, at a rest area or have a passenger call to avoid using a phone while driving
* Customize your trip at FL511.com before leaving to minimize time spent on the phone
* Check 511 for travel times and allow yourself ample time to reach your destination
* During long trips, avoid drowsy driving by making regular stops and rotating drivers, if possible
* Always wear a safety belt
* Don’t drink and drive
Florida 511 Features
* Traffic information on all interstate highways, toll roads and many other metropolitan roadways.
* Commuter travel times and reports on crashes, congestion and construction.
* Public transit, airport and seaport information.
* AMBER, Silver and LEO Alerts (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alerts notify the public of the most serious child-abduction cases. Silver Alerts notify the public when law enforcement agencies are searching for missing adults or citizens with cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Alerts notify the public when law enforcement officers are searching for an offender(s) who has seriously injured or killed a law enforcement officer.)
* FL511.com provides travel information, traffic camera views and free personalized services, including customized travel routes and e-mail, text and phone call alerts.
* Voice-activated and touch-tone navigation available when calling 511.
* The 511 phone call and FL511.com website are available in English and Spanish.