ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — The American Automobile Association is predicting a surge in people traveling via the road, air, and rails this Memorial Day weekend with COVID-19 restrictions easing and more Americans getting vaccinated.
The organization believes the big predicted increase is a promising sign of life and the economy starting to get back to normal.
“I’m having a wonderful vacation away from work and everything else enjoying the Florida life," Mary Parnell said.
Mary Parnell is spending the Memorial Day weekend in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
“You’re not finding a lot of crowds, and you almost feel like a local," Parnell said.
AAA forecasts 37 million Americans like Parnell will travel at least 50 miles or more for the holiday, including two million Floridians. That's up 60% from the holiday in 2020.
“AAA is just urging drivers to plan ahead and allow yourself extra time to get to where you need to go, and you also might want to identify some alternate routes in case you run into some congestion, then you’ll have some other options there," Mark Jenkins said.
AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins says the organization expects to rescue 468,000 stranded motorists this Memorial Day weekend, with the top three reasons being dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts.
“If you don’t have time to get your vehicle professionally inspected, at least check your tires before you head out of town," Jenkins said. "A lot of vehicles that have been sitting in the driveway for an extended period of time might have underinflated tires, which is a key contributor to tire blowouts.”
More tips include having a full tank of gas before you leave, avoiding distractions behind the wheel, and removing anything you don't need from your vehicle because that can affect gas mileage.
Parnell is looking forward to some down time in Atlantic Beach.
“We're relaxing, just hanging out at the pool, and relaxing on the beach," Parnell said.
You can tell if you need new tires by putting a penny in the groove of your tire. It's time to get them replaced if you can see the top of Abe's head.