AAA Predicts Record-Breaking Memorial Day Travel as 44 Million Hit the Roads and Skies


It’s the busiest travel holiday of the year, and AAA is predicting it to be the biggest Memorial Day yet.

AAA analysts expect almost 44 million travelers to hit the roads and air over the long holiday weekend. The travel authority says this year’s total number of travelers is a 4% increase over last year and comes close to matching 2005’s record.
They also note that this could foreshadow the summer months, signaling a very busy season for travel.

“Travel times are expected to be up to 90% longer than normal. Travelers should stay current on traffic apps, 511 services, and local news stations to avoid sitting in traffic longer than necessary,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX.

To avoid the most traffic, experts say to start your travel tomorrow before 11 or after 8. For Saturday travel plans, get out the door before 1 or after 6. For your return trip home on Sunday, hit the roads before 1 p.m. and Monday after 7 p.m.
The worst times to travel will typically be in the afternoon and early evening.

You’ll also want to make sure you are traveling safely, as the CHP will launch a maximum enforcement period lasting 78 hours. Beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, May 24, the CHP will initiate the Max Enforcement statewide to address the expected surge in holiday travelers. The MEP will continue through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27.

Last year, CHP recorded more than 1,100 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the 78-hour Memorial Day MEP, which is an average of an arrest every four minutes. The CHP urges all drivers to make the right choices and avoid impaired driving. Arrange for a sober driver, and use ride-sharing services, taxis, or public transportation if you have been drinking.


Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash