Roads and highways across the country, and across Kansas, will be busy on this first unofficial weekend of summer.
AAA Kansas is projecting that almost 329,000 Kansans will travel a distance of 50 miles or more over the Memorial Day weekend and, as usual, the large majority will be driving to their destinations, though air travel and travel by other modes of transportation are both up significantly compared to last year.
The agency says 90% of travelers – or more than 296,000 Kansas – will be hitting the roads and highways for the holiday, up more than 4% compared to last year despite record gas prices.
“The roads will be as crowded as they have been over the Memorial Day holiday since before the pandemic,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “With so many people driving, our AAA Emergency Roadside Service team is preparing for a very busy, all-hands-on deck weekend to assist those who may have car troubles. We recommend that holiday road-trippers plan ahead to make sure their vehicle is road-ready before they leave, and take proper safety precautions while on the road.”
AAA projects that the heaviest traffic will take place in larger metro areas and in most places during the following times:
- Thursday/Friday (May 26-27) afternoon and evening, as holiday traffic mixes with regular rush hour commuters
- Monday afternoon and evening when many vacationers return home
No Holiday for AAA Emergency Roadside Service
With a holiday weekend full of busy highways, AAA Emergency Roadside Service (ERS) crews expect to respond to more than 388,000 calls for help nationwide and 1,200 members across Kansas left stranded by dead batteries, tire troubles, other engine breakdowns, lockouts — and even drivers who have run out of gas.
“AAA is known for our emergency roadside service,” said Jon Burgett, ERS fleet operations manager for AAA Kansas. “We pride ourselves in providing great service and keeping drivers and families safe. We look forward to getting our members back on the roads as quickly and safely as possible for the Memorial Day weekend and throughout the busy summer.”
In order to avoid both the inconvenience and the expense of a breakdown, AAA is encouraging all motorists to make sure their vehicles are road-ready before heading out. Travelers can have their vehicles inspected by a trusted mechanic at any AAA Approved Auto Repair center.
Safety While On the Road
Whether preparing for a trip this Memorial Day weekend or getting ready for a Great American Road Trip this summer, AAA reminds drivers to make sure their cell phones are fully charged and that they have a fully stocked summer emergency kit on hand.