More people expected to travel Memorial Holiday weekend

Utah Highway Patrol trooper conducting a traffic stop along 1000 West, Logan

LOGAN — AAA Travel predicts 36.1 million Americans will journey 50-miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 1.5 percent increase from last year.

Troopers from Utah and Idaho are reminding motorists that there will be more people on the roads this weekend and safety needs to be a top priority.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cade Brenchley said because of the longer weekend, troopers see more people drinking and driving.

“Our biggest safety tip: number one is don’t drink and drive,” said Brenchley. “That’s always a big deal with these holidays.

Idaho State Police report there were 137 crashes last year with 79 people injured and two fatalities. 17 of those crashes involved alcohol or drugs.

Brenchley said a lot of people will be camping this weekend, using trailers and RVs for the first time this season. Those trailers can also cause problems on the roads.

“Make sure your truck, your car and especially your trailer are ready to go, ready to be on the freeway on higher speeds,” said Brenchley. “The tires are checked. The tires aren’t cracked. You’ve properly hooked everything up so that it is stable as your pulling it down the road.”

Troopers say they see a lot of accidents with trailers that blow a tire or are not stabilized properly, especially for higher speeds.

With more people on the roads, drivers will see more delays and congestion. Brenchley said it’s important for people to leave with plenty of time, to get to where they are going.

“People get packing and then they are running late,” said Brenchley. “Everybody is trying to get to where they are going in a hurry to start the celebration. Leave with plenty of time. Drive safe, don’t go to fast and once again don’t drink and drive.”

Idaho State Police also recommend getting enough sleep before driving and avoid other distractions like electronic devices.

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