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Tracy’s tips for Memorial Day weekend, summer travel on the roads

Traffic Reporter Tracy Taylor hosts our annual Traffic Roundtable featuring state officials from the Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Transportation, King County Sheriff’s Department, and AAA Washington.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has begun to wane, people’s holiday travel plans have started to kick into high gear. Over Memorial Day weekend, over 37 million people are expected to travel, marking a 60% increase over last year, but still not quite at the level we saw before the pandemic started.

“Our numbers are not anywhere close to what they were pre-pandemic, however it’s very uplifting to see how many people are going to hop in a car and take a safe trip,” Jennifer Cook with AAA Washington said.

And while that’s also seen gas prices rise accordingly, Cook believes there’s “nothing in the stars at this point that tells us we’ll get close to $4 a gallon.”

“Supplies are good, crude prices are staying low, so there isn’t any indication that we should bump above $4 a gallon,” she added, noting that Washington gas prices are more aligned with what they were in 2018 and 2019.

There are concerns that increases in holiday travel starting this weekend will also lead to increases in collisions, as more drivers begin to pack the roads.

“The message we want to tell people is drive safe, and especially on these holidays, understand that there may be impaired drivers coming back from trips,” Washington State Patrol cautioned. “Be cautious, and be defensive.”

Watch the full roundtable above for more tips on the best road trip destinations, gas prices, and road projects to look out for this summer in Western Washington.

Listen to Tracy Taylor’s traffic updates weekdays from 3:00pm – 6:00pm during the Tom and Curley Show on @KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.

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