Drivers react to record traffic over Memorial Day weekend

Gas prices spike before travel-heavy Memorial Day weekend, but travelers so far are undeterred

Gas prices spike before travel-heavy Memorial Day weekend, but travelers so far are undeterred

More than 42 million Americans are going to be traveling this weekend, which is the highest number in more than a decade.

"It's the Memorial Day holiday, so we'll have extra troopers on the road just to let everybody know that we're there", he said.

AAA Carolinas predicts more than 1.2 million North Carolinians will travel this Memorial Day weekend, with more than 1.1 million driving to their destinations.

Clay Ingram, spokesman for AAA-Alabama, said the state average is $2.64, which is 53 cents higher than this time past year and 11 cents higher than a month ago.

Those filling up in Raleigh should be prepared to pay more compared to surrounding cities.

People traveling Thursday said they're doing what they can to avoid the traffic. AAA says holiday travel will be up about five percent, even with gas prices at their highest this weekend since 2014. At this time a year ago, the average was only $2.20.

According to GasBuddy.com, the average cost for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in the Shoals on Thursday was $2.66.

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Trends are also indicating that this summer is likely to bring the national average to at least $3 per gallon, according to American Automobile Association spokesperson Jeanette Casselano.

Pump prices usually jump with demand as the summer traveling season begins.

State police are also participating in Operation CARE, which stands for Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort, according to a Wednesday state police news release.

Spickler said customers don't mind paying a little bit more for gas, especially since drivers still remember the pinch at the pump back in 2008.

"Oil prices have been surging in the past few weeks", he said. If they're under-inflated, it creates more friction between the rubber and the road, so it puts more drag on your auto and you're losing those miles per gallon.

Jay Berschback, chief meteorologist at WTVG-TV Channel 13, said Saturday offered the weekend's greatest chance of thunderstorms, and that local temperatures could hit 90 for the first time this year on Monday. Additional maintenance and safety personnel will be patrolling during the holiday weekend. "Use your camera to photograph parking space numbers so you don't forget them, and always take a group photo of your family before heading to crowded places in case you get separated and need to quickly describe the missing person".

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