This weekend is going to big travel weekend for drivers, it will be very busy and travellers will call for help or use apps for better routing. AAA warns that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. It is the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005 and is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water. Many travellers will need roadside assitance. In fact AAA estimates it will rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day weekend, alone. Meanwhile Waze compiled tips based on last years data to help motorists plan travel depature times and the “heavy chances of traffic jams.”
Heading into Memorial Day weekend, gas prices are increasing for the first time in four weeks. Today’s national average is $2.36/gallon – two cents more than a week ago, six cents less than a month ago, but eight cents more than a year ago. The increases are likely the result of rising demand and crude oil prices. At least 36 states saw price increases on the week, with national gasoline inventories dropping by 400,000 bbl to 240.7 million.
The West Coast continues to be the most expensive region in the country, with every state landing on the top 10 list of most expensive markets: California ($3.06), Hawaii ($3.06), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73) and Nevada ($2.72).
Memorial Day Travel Forecast
- 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year.
- 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.
- 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year.
- 1.75 million travelers, an increase 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.
- Drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015. Airfares, car rental rates and mid-range hotels are all trending higher than last Memorial Day.
Travelers still hitting the road despite higher gas prices
While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015, the vast majority of holiday travelers (88.1 percent) are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent this Memorial Day, with 34.6 million Americans planning a holiday road trip.
More Americans are planning to rent cars for their holiday road trips this year. AAA’s car rental bookings are 19 percent higher than last Memorial Day. According to Hertz, the busiest day for car rental pick-ups is expected to be Friday, May 26, based on last year’s data.
AAA’s 2017 roadside suggests that drivers maintaine and check their vehicls their researc hows:
- Dead batteries, flat tires and vehicle lockouts are top reasons that members call AAA during the summer.
- While more than half of members’ problems are resolved at the roadside by AAA, more than 3 million drivers will experience significant vehicle issues this summer that require a tow to a repair facility.
- With low-profile tires and the elimination of spare tires, many newer vehicles are especially susceptible to roadside trouble.
,AAA reminds drivers to take the following safety precautions:
- Drive distraction-free. Do not text or engage in distracting activities while driving, including interacting with a cell phone, talking with passengers or looking at other objects in the vehicle.
- Comply with the Move Over Law. Observe the Move Over Law when law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. Change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
- Pull out of the traffic lanes if your car breaks down. If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.
- Pack an emergency kit. Every vehicle should be equipped with a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables and emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, extra snacks and food for travelers and pets.
- Prevent lockouts. Always take keys when exiting the car and bring a spare car key on every trip. Avoid exposing keyless-entry remote or smart keys to water and always replace the key or fob battery when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Waze suggests using the Waze app to discover the best routes. Waze data shows that Waze drivers that leave after 5:00 pm on Monday reported the fewest traffic jams in Los Angeles, St Louis, Atlanta and Washington D.C.