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AAA Texas: Drivers Should Anticipate Increased Traffic, Greater Delays as Holiday Travel Volume Expected to Increase by 60 Percent

2.8 million Texans to travel by automobile this Memorial Day weekend

Coppell, TX Travel
road trip highway ocean

AAA Travel is forecasting a substantial increase in the number of Texans planning to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend. As a reminder, AAA Texas advises drivers to expect increased delays on their commute and to plan their route. From May 27 through May 31, nearly three million people across the Lone Star State are projected to travel 50 miles or more from home, a 60% jump from last year. Of those three million Texans choosing to take a trip during the 5-day holiday weekend, 93% will be taking a road trip.

Afternoon congestion has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in many metropolitan areas. Therefore, with the surge of holiday travelers to the typical afternoon commute, drivers in the larger metros should expect longer delays heading into this holiday weekend. Travelers should anticipate delays to start as early as today and continue through Memorial Day. AAA recommends drivers avoid the evening commute times and plan alternate routes.

2021 TX Memorial Day travel volume

INRIX predicts drivers will encounter the longest travel delays before the holiday weekend, particularly during the afternoons on Thursday, May 27 and Friday, May 28. Drivers in several major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while drivers in places like Houston could see more than three times the delay on the busiest corridors.

Metro Area

Worst Corridor

Worst Day

Worst Time

Delay Multiplier

Atlanta

I-85 Clockwise;
Hwy 81 to Augusta Rd

Thursday, May 27

3:30–5:30 PM

3.0x

Boston

I-95 South;
MA-9 to Coney St

Thursday, May 27

3:00–5:00 PM

1.2x

Chicago

I-290 West;
Morgan St to Wolf Rd

Thursday, May 27

2:45–4:45 PM

1.2x

Detroit

I-696 West;
M-10 to US-94

Friday, May 28

2:00–4:00 PM

1.5x

Houston

I-69 East;
I-610 to I-10

Friday, May 28

3:15–5:15 PM

3.0x

Los Angeles

I-5 South; Colorado St to Florence Ave

Friday, May 28

4:30–6:30 PM

2.0x

New York

I-95 West;
US-130 to GW Bdg

Thursday, May 27

1:00–3:00 PM

5.4x

San Francisco

US-101 North; Golden Gate Bdg to I-580

Thursday, May 27

5:45–7:45 PM

1.8x

Seattle

I-5 South;
WA-18 to WA-7

Thursday, May 27

5:30–7:30 PM

1.6x

Washington, D.C.

I-95 South;
I-395 to VA-123

Thursday, May 27

3:30–5:30 PM

1.1x

 

 

 

Source: INRIX

 

Before Road Trips, Prep Your Car—And Your Wallet for Higher Gas Prices

For the 2.8 million Texans expected to travel by car this Memorial Day, gas prices are trending more than $1 per gallon higher than last year, when demand plummeted as much of the country was under stay-at-home orders. However, at $2.73, the statewide gas price average in Texas is relatively in line with prices seen on Memorial Day weekend 2018.

“Gas prices will not deter motorists this holiday season as millions of Texans are excited to take a road trip again,” said Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson. “Fuel prices in Texas are similar to those seen on Memorial Day in 2018.”

Gas prices during the holiday weekend could increase in part due to higher demand. As demand increases, gas stations are working to adjust delivery schedules to keep pace. However, there have been instances where some stations are seeing low to no supply at pumps for a few days due to delayed deliveries. Over the holiday weekend, some gas stations in popular travel destinations—like beaches and mountain areas—may experience this situation.

Before hitting the road, AAA Texas reminds motorists to plan their route in advance and ensure their vehicle is ready, to help avoid a breakdown along the way. AAA expects to rescue more than 468,000 Americans at the roadside this Memorial Day weekend. Nearly 19,000 of those rescues are expected to take place in Texas.

AAA makes it easy to request assistance—by phone or text (1-800-AAA-HELP), app or online—and members can track the service technician’s progress as they make their way to your vehicle. Also, don’t leave home without an emergency roadside kit and continue to pack extra snacks or meals as well as cleaning supplies, including disinfecting wipes.

Regardless of how you plan to get to your destination, AAA advises travelers to seek the advice of a knowledgeable travel advisor to help plan their trips this Memorial Day. To get started and to learn more, visit AAA.com/Travel.

AAA provides more than 62 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of independently owned motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the motorist and safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. AAA Texas branch offices throughout the state can be found by visiting www.AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.

Media Contacts

Daniel Armbruster
Media & Corporate Spokesperson , AAA Texas
512-564-3141
armbruster.daniel@aaa-texas.com
Joshua Zuber
Media Spokesperson , AAA Texas (Houston)
713-533-2946
zuber.joshua@aaa-texas.com
CST 1016202-80 Copyright © AAA Texas, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Texas is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the state of Texas (with the exception of Texarkana).