Expect Gridlock For Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Expect Gridlock For Memorial Day Weekend 2018

If you live in Kane County, IL, and you’re thinking about hitting the road for a Memorial Day weekend trip, the worst time to leave is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, May 25.

According to AAA, which is based in Aurora, Americans will kick off the season by traveling in near-record numbers, and Illinois is among the leaders of the exodus.

According to AAA, more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years (2005).

In Illinois, 2.04 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 4 percent increase from 2017. Of those travelers, 1.8 million will be driving (up four percent from 2017) and 112,000 will be flying to their destination (a 6.8 percent increase from 2017).

Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.95, up from $2.70 last month and up from $2.39 a year ago.

“Higher gas prices will not be enough to keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Vicky Evans, AAA assistant vice president for travel sales development. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.”

By The Numbers: 2018

  • Total Travelers: More than 41.5 million — 2018 will mark the fourth consecutive year of overall travel volume growth.
  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 36.6 million – will hit the road this Memorial Day, 4.7 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: 3.1 million people will travel by air, a 6.8 percent increase and the fifth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
  • Trains, Buses, Rails and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.4 percent to 1.8 million passengers.

Worst Times to Hit the Road

For the 36.6 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.

“Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commute times in major cities altogether – traveling late morning or early afternoon – or plan alternative routes.”Ranked the most congested country in world, U.S. drivers are all too familiar with sitting in traffic,” said Graham Cookson, INRIX chief Economist and head of research. “Drivers should expect congestion across a greater number of days than in previous years, with the getaway period starting on Wednesday, May 23.”

SOURCE: AAA Chicago news release

Worst Days/Times to Travel

Metro Area Worst Day for Travel Worst Time for Travel Delay Multiplier of Normal Trip
Atlanta, GA Thursday, May 24 3:30 – 5:30 PM 1.6x
Houston, TX Thursday, May 24 4:30 – 6:00 PM 1.5x
Boston, MA Thursday, May 24 4:30 – 6:30 PM 1.8x
Washington, DC Thursday, May 24 4:30 – 7:00 PM 2.3x
San Francisco, CA Friday, May 25 3:00 – 5:30 PM 1.7x
Los Angeles, CA Friday, May 25 3:30 – 5:30 PM 1.9x
New York, NY Friday, May 25 3:30 – 6:30 PM 2.7x
Detroit, MI Friday, May 25 4:00 – 5:30 PM 1.5x
Chicago, IL Friday, May 25 4:00 – 6:00 PM 2.1x
Seattle, WA Friday, May 25 4:00 – 6:00 PM 1.8x
Source: INRIX