More than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, a number that is up roughly 5 percent from last year and the most since 2005, according to AAA.
These numbers remain steady despite the fact that gas prices rose last week in most markets, primarily due to reductions in domestic supply and the oil market’s response to the President’s decision to leave the Iran Nuclear Deal. Gas prices for Memorial Day weekend are expected to hit a four-year high.
Gas prices averaged $2.72 last month, up 33 cents from last year due to expensive crude oil, record gasoline demand and shrinking global supply. Last year, gas prices on Memorial Day averaged $2.37 nationwide ($2.31 in Florida), which is still below 2014 levels, when the national average was $3.66 ($3.62 in Florida).
AAA says Central Florida should brace itself for impact: Orlando once again tops the list of the most-visited Memorial Day destinations in the U.S., based on AAA advance travel bookings.
Here’s the breakdown on how U.S. travelers will get around for the holiday:
- 36.6 million by car, up 4.7 percent from 2017
- 3.1 million by air, up 6.8 percent
- 1.8 million by train, bus and cruise ships, up 2.4 percent
These numbers include 2.2 million Floridians expected to travel on Memorial Day weekend, up 5.5 percent, with most of them (89 percent) traveling by automobile, up 5.5 percent from the prior year.
Travel delays on major roads are expected to be two to three times longer than normal, with the most traffic in late afternoon on May 24-25 as commuters mix with travelers, according to INRIX, a global transportation analytics company.
While more drivers on the roads usually means a higher risk for wrecks, you can still practice safe driving habits. Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to be safe this Memorial Day Weekend, and every other day for that matter. Just by doing the few simple things listed below, you can reduce your risks considerably.
- Buckle up. The use of seat belts saved the lives of more than 13,000 people each year.
- Secure your kids properly. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between 3 and 12 years old. By placing all children 12 and under in the back seat, you can reduce injury risk by 64 percent for children under 8 and 31 percent for 9-12 year olds. Also, make sure your children are in the proper seat for their age and it’s installed correctly.
- Don’t speed. Speeding is a factor in about one-third of all fatal crashes, killing nearly 900 Americans every month. Moreover, obeying the speed limit will also help to conserve fuel, saving you money.
- Keep your eyes on the road to limit distractions. Our best advice is to put the phone away and focus on the road. No call or text is worth losing your life or killing someone else.
- Don’t drink and drive. It is that simple.
- Use your signals. By alerting other drivers of your intentions to turn, you can help prepare other motorists around.