Published On: Thu, May 24th, 2018

Memorial Day Travel Facts: Road Trips, Rescues, Running on Fumes

The unofficial start of summer is here, and with it comes plenty of travel plans for Memorial Day.

According to AAA’s latest travel forecast, Memorial Day travel volume will reach its highest level since 2005, with 430,000 Philadelphia-area residents traveling by car. In fact, the group says it plans to rescue 7,000 motorists in the Philadelphia area alone!

Here’s some more fun facts about Memorial Day travel:

ROAD TRIPS: How Many Philadelphia-Area Residents will Travel by Car

  • 2018 will mark the fourth consecutive year for Memorial Day travel growth.
  • Nearly 433,000 Philadelphia-area residents – or 90 percent of local holiday travelers – plan to drive to their destination. This is a 4.7 percent increase over last year (fourth straight year of growth).

RESCUES: Responders are Ready

  • AAA Mid-Atlantic expects to respond to rescue calls from nearly 7,000 motorists in the Philadelphia 5-county area during the holiday travel period, including the day after Memorial Day. Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons folks will experience car trouble.
  • Nationwide, AAA Emergency Roadside crews will rescue more than 340,000 motorists during the holiday.
  • The auto club urges drivers to minimize the risk of a breakdown by planning ahead. This includes having the car battery tested and tires inspected to ensure the vehicle is in road-ready condition.

RUSH HOUR: How to Avoid Holiday Weekend Traffic

  • The Memorial Day holiday travel period is considered to be Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28.
  • Busiest travel days/times will be Thursday and Friday (May 24 and 25), as afternoon commuters mix with holiday travelers.
  • Traveling during off-peak hours (early morning, later in the day) will likely help avoid high-traffic volume.
  • Traveling on the Memorial Day holiday itself, early in the day.  Afternoon and evening traffic returning home will be heavy.

RUNNING ON FUMES: Memorial Day Gas Prices Highest Since 2004

  • Higher gas prices not deterring the 90 percent of Philadelphia-area residents who will travel by car this weekend.
  • The 2018 summer driving season, which begins with Memorial Day weekend, could see the average family paying $1,318 for gasoline, $225 to $250 more than 2017.

2018 Projected Memorial Day Holiday Travelers – Philadelphia (5-county) Area

NUMBER OF TRAVELERS

Total Population

2018 Travelers

Percent of
population traveling

Percent change vs. 2017

Philadelphia (5-county) TOTAL (auto, air & other)

4,119,268*

481,954

11.7%

+4.7%

Philadelphia
(5-county) Auto

90% of people travel by car

432,523

10.5%

+4.7%

Philadelphia
(5-county) Air

7% of people travel by air

32,954

0.8%

+6.2%

Pennsylvania
auto, air & other

12,805,537*

1,498,248

11.7%

+4.7%

Pennsylvania
Auto

90% of people travel by car

1,344,581

10.5%

+4.7%

Pennsylvania
Air

7% of people travel by air

102,444

0.8%

+6.2%

National TOTAL

328.1 million*

41.4 million

12.7%

+4.8%

National Auto

88% of people travel by car

36.6 million

11.1%

+4.7%

National Air

8% of people travel by air

3.1 million

01.0%

+6.8%

*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight (v2017)

 

Historical Memorial Day Gas Prices

5/24/2018

Year-Over-Year

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

Pennsylvania

$3.12

54-cents

$2.58

$2.48

$2.85

$3.76

$3.51

Philadelphia
(5-county)

$3.14

53-cents

$2.61

$2.47

$2.86

$3.73

$3.58

New Jersey

$3.01

61-cents

$2.40

$2.15

$2.54

$3.50

$3.42

South Jersey

$2.95

61-cents

$2.34

$2.10

$2.48

$3.46

$3.41

Delaware

$2.95

60-cents

$2.35

$2.25

$2.62

$3.60

$3.51

National

$2.96

59-cents

$2.37

$2.32

$2.74

$3.66

$3.63

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