Lynchburg, VA- More people are opting to hit the road than take to the skies to get to their Memorial Day weekend destination this year. Because of high fees and ticket prices, AAA predicts most travelers will drive.
And because travelers are staying on the ground, the roads might be even more congested than usual. But, local agencies are doing their best to make sure you have the safest trip possible.
Despite AAA's prediction that travel will decrease by nearly a percentage point, agencies are gearing up for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
"It's going to be busy out there on the roads this year," said Paula Jones, the Lynchburg VDOT Communications Manager.
AAA says families will be spending less, but driving more, something Paula Jones says VDOT has been preparing for. The department has created a new website to help you predict which route will have the least traffic.
"We've actually done is taken historical data over the last several years and what's being predicted and everything so motorists can determine what the expectations are of the average traffic patterns on a given interstate for a given time period," said Jones.
The tool lets drivers look into the future, by examining the past.
"You can pick out Friday, we're going to be traveling during this time frame on 95, and it goes specifically to that area and looks to see what your traffic pattern might be, how heavily congested it might be," said Jones.
And with 511, drivers should have no problem avoiding traffic jams. But, traffic may not be your only issue this weekend, especially if you're caught without a seatbelt. Police across the country will be out in force as part of the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign.
"There will be checkpoints there will be saturation patrols daytime and evening. You should see a cop just about everywhere," said Officer Ronnie Sitler with Lynchburg Police.
Police are trying to send a message to be safe this holiday season, when roads can be most crowded, and most dangerous.
"You've got some time so don't be in a hurry. Just slow down, buckle up and be safe," said Sitler.
AAA's fuel gauge says the nationwide average is $3.66 a gallon. Although prices are still high, a majority of travelers say the cost of gas alone will not impact their travel plans.