This upcoming Memorial Day weekend, AAA is predicting that over 5 million California residents will hit the road traveling. This number exceeds last year’s projected travel numbers by 5.3 percent and is the highest ever for the holiday widely viewed as the official start of the summer season.

Some may be surprised at the number of residents traveling, given the cost of gas — the highest in four years. But these concerns appear to be offset by the strength of the economy and the higher levels of confidence that consumers currently have here in California.

More Californians plan to drive to their Memorial Day destinations this year — over 4.3 million — an uptick of 5.2 percent from last year’s figures. Given the numbers, it’s inevitable that some traffic jams and, unfortunately, accidents will also occur over the holiday weekend.

As such, AAA and the global transportation analytics company INRIX predict that traffic patterns will be at their most congested during the late afternoon hours on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25. That’s when harried commuters will be leaving work and mixing with the holiday traffic. Commuters in the Los Angeles area could experience travel times that are twice as long as usual.

Travelers are urged to factor in extra time to arrive safely at their holiday destinations. They can stay abreast of detours and unexpected events by downloading and using a free app provided by AAA.

If you get into an accident occur over the Memorial Day weekend, remember to take the necessary steps to preserve your rights to seek financial compensation for your injuries and damages.

Source: YubaNet.com, “California kicks off 2018 summer travel season in record numbers,” May 14, 2018