“We’re expecting a very busy holiday travel weekend, both on our freeways across Southern California and at the airports,” Corporate Communications and Programs Manager for AAA, Doug Shupe, shared.
Get ready for some busy roads this holiday weekend as nearly a third of all Americans are planning a getaway.
As gas prices are lower than during the 4th of July, AAA says about 82% of Americans who are traveling are taking a road trip, which means highways will be busy.
“Our recent survey at the Auto Club shows that about 66% of Americans did cut back on some of the travel that they would normally do during the summer. However, it shows that about 73% of those surveyed say they plan at least one fall trip,” Shupe explained. “So what that indicates is not only will people be traveling for Labor Day, but we’re gonna see a very strong interest in travel throughout the autumn months as well. People just want to get out there and they want to see the world again.”
According to AAA, about 32% of Americans are planning to get away for the weekend and about 12% of those travelers will be heading 50 miles or more away from home.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Labor Day ranks about number five of the most heavily traveled weekends of the year.
“We also have college football ramping up this weekend with both USC and UCLA playing and we have beautiful warm weather,” Officer Jason Montez with the San Gorgonio Pass CHP shared. “So with all that going on in the long weekend, I’m sure alcohol consumption is going to be at a high level and we’ll have a lot of people on the roadway.”
Which means CHP is ramping up its presence, especially on Interstate 10.
Officer Montez continued, “We have planned a Maximum Enforcement Period, which starts at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, September 2, and it continues through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 5. What that means is that we’ll be deploying 80% of our patrol officers into the field. With the staffing levels being 80%, there will be additional patrols and one of our main focuses will be speed on Interstate 10.”
As temperatures in the desert remain above 110 this weekend, it’s important to check your car before you leave.
“People will call us for flat tires, dead batteries, and then also most commonly, getting locked out of their vehicles,” Shupe said. “We’re really encouraging everybody to take your vehicle to a AAA approved auto repair shop or a trusted mechanic and ask them to inspect the tire tread and inflation, crucial for preventing a blowout on the hot pavement. Especially when you’ve got vacation plans, at the beach or in a mountain community or with friends and family, nobody wants to get stranded on the side of the road, especially in these extreme temperatures.”
Shupe continued to say from Thursday to Monday, they anticipate coming to roadside rescue for more than 58,000 drivers in Southern California alone.
So, all the more important to have your phones charged, fluids are topped off and have plenty of water available in case of an emergency.