Tens of Millions of Americans Flock to the Road for Memorial Day

(Bloomberg) -- The highest gasoline prices since 2014 won’t stop 37 million Americans from clogging up the nation’s motorways next week as summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend.

Road traffic is expected to be the worst in the New York metropolitan area Friday afternoon -- car trips will take about 2.7 times longer than normal. In Washington D.C., Thursday commuters will mix with vacationers to more than double drive times.

“Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commute times in major cities altogether – traveling late morning or early afternoon – or plan alternative routes,” said Graham Cookson, head of research at INRIX, a collaboration with the American Automobile Association.

National average gasoline prices are up about 50 cents a gallon from May of last year, AAA data show. Still, road travel is projected to rise 4.7 percent Memorial Day weekend, while air travel will rise 6.8 percent, AAA says.

Fuel costs aren’t high enough to deter travel, according to Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need.”

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