Driver numbers expected to reach pre-pandemic levels
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
AAA expects weekend travel for this Labor Day weekend to return to pre-pandemic levels, similar to Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends this year.
“As the summer travel season draws to a close with the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, AAA expects travel volume to likely reach pre-pandemic levels, reflecting trends seen for Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends earlier this summer,” the AAA spokesperson said. Kara Hitchens in a press release. “AAA reminds all holiday weekend travelers, especially those planning a road trip, that increased traffic means increased risk of accidents. Plan ahead. Travel during off-peak hours. Obey the rules of the road. Your safety and that of all road users depends on it.
Even as gasoline prices hit record highs, thousands of people will still be taking road trips this Labor Day weekend.
“In terms of gasoline prices, prices in Mansfield hit a record high of $5.08 on June 14. They have since fallen from $1.41 to $3.67,” said Sarah Keep, sales manager at AAA in Mansfield. “A year ago at this time the prices were $2.98. Even though they’re higher than this time last Labor Day, we don’t expect them to impact most people’s travel plans. AAA predicted record numbers of Ohioans traveled during the Independence Day holiday, when gas prices were even higher.”
According to www.gasprices.aaa.com, the current average price of gas in Richland County is $3.66.
However, travelers told AAA they have adjusted their driving behavior and vacation spending to account for rising gas prices. Nearly 71% of Ohio drivers say they have adjusted their daily driving behaviors due to gas prices, with many people reducing their driving as much as possible. More than 60% of Ohio drivers planning summer trips say gas prices factored into their planning.
- About a third (32%) say they have canceled plans due to gas prices.
- More than 33% say they’ve avoided making plans because of gas prices.
- Another third, 35%, say gas prices have not factored into their travel plans.
“We’ve seen people change their daily habits to compensate for the high prices,” Keep said. “According to a survey released by AAA in late July, nearly two-thirds (64%) of American adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle to compensate for high prices.”
AAA also provided plenty of advice for road travelers this Labor Day weekend:
- Check tire pressure of all tires
- Check tire tread
- Make sure the battery is in good working order (most batteries last 3-5 years)
- Check the air conditioning
- Check windshield wipers to make sure they are in good working order
- Check fluids
- Check headlights for functionality and clean lenses
- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can call for help if needed
- Make sure your AAA membership is current
- Stock a summer emergency kit with: jumper cables, tools, first aid supplies, flashlight with fresh batteries, flare or reflective triangle, extra medications, snacks and the water
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