Increased Traffic for Memorial Day in the U.S.: Tips to Avoid Jams

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Upcoming holidays for Americans include Memorial Day on May 27 and Independence Day on July 4, signaling the start of summer and an increase in travel. This means that roads, airports, and highways will be crowded with a large influx of travelers.

With the expected surge in vehicle traffic, you’ll need to implement certain strategies to manage the flow and avoid congestion. Our website offers some effective tactics to help you navigate traffic jams.

On May 27, the nation honors those who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, a significant tradition in American culture, with ceremonies held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Alongside this event, the weekend leading up to it will see a notable increase in drivers as summer begins, setting the stage for a peak in travel this year.

Traffic Forecasts for Memorial Day:

According to official data, the number of drivers during this 2024 Memorial Day weekend will increase by 4 percent compared to last year, and by 1.9 percent over 2019 figures.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that approximately 43.8 million travelers will journey 50 miles or more, nearing the record set in 2005 with 44 million travelers.

Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA, stated in a recent press release that the estimated numbers for this Memorial Day are the highest seen in almost 20 years, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and marking a high-travel summer season.

According to AAA, the most frequented destinations during this period include theme parks and leisure spots, especially in New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Southern California.

Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage are top choices due to the popularity of Alaska cruises and the high number of visitors during this time of year.

Additionally, beaches and cruise ports in Florida also see a high frequency of travelers.

Tips to Minimize Heavy Traffic:

To mitigate the effects of traffic, AAA, responsible for highway emergency services, has provided a schedule indicating the best and worst times to drive. Here are some practical and efficient tips for planning your trips:

  • From Thursday, May 23 to Monday, May 27, high traffic volumes are expected. The worst times to drive are between 12:00 pm and the early evening (5:00, 6:00, and 7:00 pm). Consider minimizing travel during these hours or driving with caution.
  • The best times to drive are before noon and during nighttime hours when traffic is lighter.
  • If avoiding peak hours is not possible, leave much earlier than your usual schedule, as you will be sharing the road with many drivers. Drive cautiously and be prepared for possible obstructions.
  • Stay updated with traffic apps, 511 services, and local news stations to avoid potential traffic jams.

Additionally, for the start of summer and Memorial Day celebrations, as well as the upcoming July 4 festivities, the Department of Transportation has not announced any road closures.

To manage the heavy traffic during these days, follow our tips, and for additional advice on saving fuel, visit our website for the best recommendations.

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Haymé Santoya Rodríguez

Licenciada en Historia del Arte por la Universidad de Oriente. Investigadora en Casa de la Nacionalidad Cubana. Se especializa en estudios sobre artes visuales y cine cubano. Ha realizado trabajos de curaduría de arte así como conferencias, presentaciones de libros, conversatorios y disertaciones sobre su especialización. Se ha vinculado al periodismo digital desde el 2018.