The three day holiday weekend is now over and roads in Central Texas were packed with drivers Monday heading home.
As the last major holiday of the summer came to an end, thousands of additional travelers took to I-35 this holiday weekend to get to their final destination. For many, I-35 was the only option. "We have to get home and so there's only one direct route to get to San Antonio,"says Julie Hutchison, who was heading south from Dallas.
The Hutchison's were lucky enough to be going the opposite direction than traffic. But with 3 boys in the car, they decided the earlier the better. "We figured it would be a busy day of travel, so we had some games this morning, packed up our things and tried to get on the road as soon as we could," says Hutchison.
AAA estimates 33 million Americans hit the roadways this long weekend. Exactly the reason extra DPS troopers were patrolling roads since Friday. Looking for drunk drivers, speeders and distracted drivers. But troopers also had a warning for tired drivers. "Fatigued drivers can be just as bad as impaired drivers so, if you're fatigued and fall asleep during your driving episode, then you're going to have a serious crash," says Trooper D.L. Wilson, with the Department of Public Safety.
Jessica Londale has had some bad experiences on the busy interstate. And wishes drivers would be more courteous. "I think it would be nice is everybody on the road understood that the left lane is for passing. Because the worst part is when you've got two people and they're both driving slowly and you cant get between them," says Londale.
Julie saw the extra patrol cars line the highways. For her, a comforting sight. "It is peace of mind, you know there's a lot of people on the road and there sometimes needs to be some control and it makes me feel a little bit safer," says Hutchison.
Reporter: Tania Ortega
Photographer: Chris Buford