Plan Ahead: Here’s When Memorial Day Weekend Traffic is Expected to be at its Worst

If you are going to be one of the estimated 36.6 million Americans hitting the road for Memorial Day weekend this year, our Pasco County Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to consider leaving early in the morning or later in the evening Thursday (May 24) or Friday to avoid the worst of the traffic.

AAA, which tracks holiday travel throughout the year, said in a news release a total of 41.5 million Americans will travel for Memorial Day weekend this year, the most in more than 12 years. That total, a 5 percent increase from 2017, includes those flying and driving as well as those traveling by train, bus and cruise ship.

About 36.6 million people are expected to drive to their Memorial Day destination, the release said. That is up 4.7 percent from last year despite higher gas prices, which are the most expensive we’ve seen in four years.

Nationwide gas prices averaged $2.72 a gallon in April, up 33 cents from last year.

Just to recap: the worst of the Memorial Day traffic is likely to be in the late morning and early afternoon Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25, as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers, according to an analysis by AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company. Travel times during these peak hours could double and even triple, the release said.

For Floridians: Orlando is expected to be the most-visited city over Memorial Day weekend. Orlando will also have the busiest airport this Memorial Day weekend.

Our Pasco County Injury Lawyers want you to drive defensively on the roads for this holiday period. The following tips will help you to know what to do in many situations, so that you can arrive at your destination safe and sound.

  • Never use a cell phone while driving: If you are talking or texting on your phone, you are not giving your full attention to driving, which leaves you at a higher risk for causing an accident. Using a cell phone is extremely distracting, and you should only use it when the car is parked.
  • Pay attention to all traffic signs: Failing to do this simple task could mean you end up speeding or going the wrong way on one-way streets. If you are paying attention to all road signs, you will know what the posted speed limit is, and you can stay within it. Make sure that you obey all traffic lights as well. One wrong turn at a signal light could end in a fatal accident.
  • Never drive too closely behind another vehicle: You need to make sure that there is plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, just in case you need to come to a fast stop.
  • Give others the right of way: Let’s say you come to a four way stop or other situations where it may be difficult to figure out who has the right of way. When you are in this type of situation, it is best to just let other drivers have the right of way. It may take a few extra seconds to wait, but you will still get where you are going and can avoid an unnecessary wreck.

Driving defensively means that you are in complete control when you are behind the wheel. It also means that you are able to anticipate what other drivers are going to do, so you can be prepared and avoid accidents. Should you find yourself involved in a car accident over the Memorial Day holiday, we are here to help. Call us for a free consultation at 727-847-2299 or contact us online.

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