Planning to hop in the car this Memorial Day weekend? You’re not alone. Americans are planning to hit the road in record numbers. Before you head out, we have some statistics on the number of travelers projected over Memorial Day along with some tips to stay safe on the road.
AAA Travel projects 37.2 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 4.7 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year and the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years. Kicking off the summer driving season, 33 million travelers will be driving to their destinations. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25.
Highlights from 2015 Memorial Day Travel Forecast:
- The 2015 Memorial Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years, since 2005.
- Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.66, $1.00 less than the average price on Memorial Day last year.
- The 4.7 percent increase over Memorial Day 2014 is the highest forecast growth rate for any of the holidays tracked by AAA since Independence Day 2012.
- More than 88 percent of travelers (33 million) will travel by automobile, an increase of 5.3 percent over last Memorial Day.
- Holiday air travel is expected to increase 2.5 percent to 2.6 million leisure travelers.
- Travel by other modes of transportation including cruises, trains and buses, is expected to decrease 3.6 percent this Memorial Day, to 1.64 million.
- Travelers will encounter higher lodging costs this year, while airfares are down slightly compared to Memorial Day 2014.
For more information on the AAA Travel Report, click here.
Before You Go: Vehicle Safety Checklist
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following check list for your car before you leave your driveway. To view the complete list, click here.
- Tires – air pressure, tread wear, and spare
- Belts and Hoses – condition and fittings
- Wiper Blades – wear and tear on both sides
- Cooling System – coolant levels and servicing
- Fluid Levels – oil, brake, transmission, power steering, coolant, and windshield washer fluids
- Lights – headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights, and trailer lights
- Air Conditioning – check performance before traveling
On the Road
Avoid fatigue so you can stay focused. Allow for frequent breaks. Stop for food, pull over at a rest stop and stretch, stay overnight in a motel, and sharing the driving are all good strategies.
Avoid Bad Driver Behavior
Nearly 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. Anything that pulls your attention away from driving is a distraction – cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, and using in-vehicle technologies and electronic devices.
Buckle Up, Every Trip, Every Time
Everybody in the car should wear a seat belt every trip. Make a rule – the car doesn’t move until everyone is buckled up.
Every 51 minutes and 32 times a day, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash. Don’t drink and drive. Choose a designate driver before going out.
Emergency Roadside Kit
Just in case your well-maintained car breaks down, here are some items for your emergency kit.
- Cell phone & charger
- First aid kit
- Flares and a white flag
- Jumper cables
- Jack (with ground mat) for changing a tire
- Work gloves and a change of clothes
- Basic repair tools and duct tape
- Water and paper towels for cleaning up
- Nonperishable food, drinking water, and medicines
- Extra windshield washer fluid
We hope that you have a great getaway this Memorial Day weekend. As always, we welcome your insurance questions and encourage you to call or contact us on our website.
Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients. ContactUs.