AAA forecasts that more than 41.5 million Americans will travel over Memorial Day weekend. That’s nearly five percent more than last year and the most in more than 12 years.

For the 36.6 million people traveling by automobile, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.

“Ranked the most congested country in world, U.S. drivers are all too familiar with sitting in traffic,” said Graham Cookson, Chief Economist and Head of Research, INRIX. “Drivers should expect congestion across a greater number of days than in previous years, with the getaway period starting on Wednesday, May 23. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commute times in major cities altogether – traveling late morning or early afternoon – or plan alternative routes.”

AAA to rescue more than 340,000 motorists

AAA expects to rescue more than 340,000 motorists at the roadside during Memorial Day weekend. Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires are set be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. The AAA recommends:

  • Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is road-trip ready.
  • Make a good B-E-T to stay on the road this summer by having your Battery tested, looking for Engine coolant leaks and checking Tire condition.
  • Be prepared for emergencies with a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that more than 400 people could be killed and 45,800 people seriously injured on the roads during the three-day holiday weekend.

“Memorial Day should mark the start of summer – not a deadly driving season,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC President and CEO. “If we pay attention, slow down and be courteous, we can increase our chances of making it to picnics, beaches and barbecues rather than emergency rooms.”

Download eDriving’s free SMART Driving Principles Guide to help you have a safe drive, every trip.