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AAA Expects Highest Memorial Day Road Travel In Years

traffic on Interstate 40 in Durham
Elizabeth Baier
File photo of traffic on Interstate 40 in Durham. AAA of the Carolinas expects road travel to be higher than any years since 2005.

More travelers will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend than any year since 2005.Road travel is expected to be up by more than 2 percent from 2016. In all, more than 1 million North Carolinians are expected to venture at least 50 miles from home. The top driving destination in the Carolinas: Myrtle Beach.
Drivers should be extra cautious over the weekend, according to AAA Spokeswoman Tiffany Wright, adding that doing so starts with getting plenty of rest before a long road trip and always designating a sober driver.
“One thing I don't think is as obvious is, getting behind that wheel and being distracted,” Wright said. “Eliminate distractions behind the wheel, such as cell phone use. You know, no texting while driving. Put the phone away, disconnect and drive as we like to say. Put those mobile devices down.”
The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that deadly collisions caused by distracted driving are on the rise.
AAA of the Carolinas says relatively low gas prices will bring higher than average road traffic for the holiday. Wright said the vast majority of weekend travelers will hit the road, and that means an increased risk of car accidents.
“Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the 100 deadliest days. That's the period when teen traffic deaths historically rise,” she said. “Be mindful of that. You're gonna have more teens on the road. More teens are out of school. You know, last year we had 20 North Carolina motorists die on our roads during this holiday.”  
AAA recommends motorists get their vehicles inspected before a long trip and for no one to drive drunk or drowsy.


Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. Email:
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