The Memorial Day holiday weekend may seem like a great time to get away from Atlanta, but doing so could leave you in the worst traffic since 2005.
A combination of cheap gas prices and an increase in wages has led AAA to announce that 39.3 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing, said in a statement. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”
The numbers represent a 2.7 percent increase over last year and the highest since 2005.
In Georgia alone, 1.7 million people will travel over the weekend and more than a million will be doing so in vehicles, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has announced some measures that will help ease traffic conditions over the weekend. It is suspending construction-related lane closures from noon May 26 through 5 a.m. May 30 on interstates. It is also limiting lane closures on state routes that serve tourist centers.
“This first holiday of the summer travel season is one of the heaviest travel times. We hope the suspension of major construction work will allow motorists to get to and from their holiday festivities with less congestion and less aggravation,” said Georgia DOT State Construction Engineer John Hancock in a press release.
According a spokesman for the traffic and navigation app Waze, the worst time to be on the road is Friday and the best time to return on Monday is after 5 p.m. With all of that in mind, if you’re traveling this Memorial Day weekend, make sure to take extra caution to avoid an auto accident.