Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Memphis prepares for busy travel during the Memorial Day weekend

By Tarvarious Haywood

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Today kicks off the start of a busy travel weekend for Memorial Day. It is the unofficial kick-off to summer.

Memorial Day travel is up from last year with over 40 million people expected to travel this weekend.

Roadways are going to be packed and the airports are going to be packed. Experts are telling everyone to pack some patience.

Of the over 40 million folks expected to travel this weekend, Tennesseans make up almost one million of that number.

“If you are traveling by any mode of transportation this weekend, you’re going to have a lot of company and we are expecting things to be pretty busy for Memorial Day weekend,” said Megan Cooper with Tennessee AAA.

It’s estimated over 600 thousand Tennesseans are hitting the road and will travel over 50 miles to their vacation destination.

“This is above pre-pandemic levels for total travel. We are also expecting our air travel numbers to be above what we were seeing in 2019,” said Cooper.

According to AAA, nationwide Memorial Day is also the start of the 100 deadliest days. That’s when Law enforcement sees a sharp increase in crashes especially involving teens.

Lt. Ashley McCarver has been a Tennessee state trooper for 12 years. She said Memorial Day is always a dangerous time on the road.

THP will have more units on the highways focusing heavily on speeding, impaired, and distracted driving.

“We want to come out of the holiday weekend on a good note. That’s the most important thing. And if we can just get people to use caution when they are driving and minimize distractions. Whether it be visual distractions, manual distractions, or cognitive distractions which is just thinking about something else and not having your mind on the road,” said McCarver.

Good news if you’re in Memphis and hitting the road, Gas prices are down with the cheapest gas in town at just $2.74 according to gas buddy.

” It is looking like you are going to get quite a bit of a break at the pump compared to what we were seeing last year. So, last year on Memorial Day the Tennessee state average was $4.27 per gallon. Right now we are seeing a state average of $3.19,” said Cooper.

Cooper says travel is expected to be busy until Tuesday no matter what mode of travel you are choosing this year, so give yourself some extra time.

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