Tennessee Predicts Many Cars On The Road For Memorial Day

The Memorial Day long weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer in the minds of many Americans across the country.  Families from coast to coast plan vacations for the long weekend, sometimes at cottages or campsites, or in some cases, a good old fashioned road trip.

Governments and transportation officials in the Midwest predicted a busy weekend on the roads this year.  For example, the Tennessee branch of AAA expected over 750,000 state residents would be on the roads this weekend, traveling a minimum of 50 miles over the course of three days.

AAA says that if those estimations are accurate, it will mean the highest number of drivers in 10 years will be on the road this Memorial Day.  The reason for those high estimations is simple – low gas prices.

The state average price for a gallon of gas is $2.47, down almost a full dollar per gallon from Memorial Day in 2014.  Gas prices climbed a few cents over the past few weeks, an expected jump ahead of a long weekend.  But fuel prices are still at bargain prices, which should incentivize many people to get away from the city for a few days.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) concurred with AAA’s assessments, and agreed to open all interstate routes that are closed due to construction for the long weekend – provided it is safe to do so.  The department expects this decision will reduce traffic congestion, as well as improve road safety during the busy weekend.

Kendell Poole, Director of Tennessee’s Governor’s Highway Safety Office, says TDOT is working with authorities throughout the weekend to crack down on distracted or unsafe driving.  Drivers who speed or choose not to wear seatbelts will be faced with fines and possible spikes in their car insurance premiums.

“To help make our roadways safer, law enforcement agencies throughout the state will join together during the Click It or Ticket campaign to crack down on those individuals not wearing their seat belt.”

The forecast across Tennessee also looked great throughout the weekend.  Meteorologists expected sunny days from Friday through today with a slight chance for showers later tonight.

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