Labor Day weekend travel expected to be up from last year

VIRGINIA – Labor Day weekend travel is at a high, and experts say more people will be on the roads this year than last.

To avoid traffic, travel experts recommend leaving early in the morning or later in the evening if you’re heading out of town these next few days.

“The traffic hasn’t been the best man, it’s a little congested,” traveler Dan Adams said.

On Friday, Interstate 81 was buzzing with travelers making their way to their holiday weekend destinations. Driver Michael Smith is headed from South Carolina to Maryland.

“Spend time with my daughter and her family,” Smith said. “We’re going to go to a fair, go out to eat, just spend some time at home together.”

With so many events and vacations happening this weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean said that you should allow extra time to get to and from places.

“Holidays especially this summer the roads are going to be busy out there,” Dean said. “So, I think planning for that before you set out, even if it’s just setting yourself mentally, ‘Hey I’m probably going to see a lot of backups. Let me do a deep breath or two.’”

Staying calm is important. Dean said that the rate of road rage is up. Last year, over 550 people were shot in a road rage incident nationwide.

This past July, a car was hit by a bullet on Interstate 81 northbound in the area of the 141 exit ramp. Virginia State Police are still searching for the suspect.

“The people on the roadway, they may be driving aggressively, may be doing some things that you don’t like,” Dean said. “It’s not your job to police them and really your best bet is to not engage with them. If you do have concerns with them, let police take care of that.”

With more drivers out, there’s also expected to be more law enforcement. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign just launched in Virginia a few days ago.

Last year, 87 impaired drivers were arrested by state troopers during the Labor Day holiday.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.