AAA: More people hitting the road for Memorial Day despite rising gas prices

41.5 million Americans expected to travel

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter, Alison Wickline - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Millions are getting ready to hit the roads for the unofficial beginning of summer this weekend, despite rising gas prices.

According to AAA, 41.5 million Americans are expected to travel this weekend. That's the highest number of travelers in more than 12 years and five percent more than last year.

"We normally don't go out on Memorial weekend but we lucked out and got some camping reservations so we're going," said Steve Nichols.

Nearly 1.2 million people in Virginia are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend.

“Make sure you have snacks and water in your car and also make sure that you don't get stranded on the side of the road. Make sure you have your belts checked, make sure your battery is checked, make sure you've checked your tires. Don't add to that delay by an avoidable thing that you could fix," AAA Travel Agent Beth Farmer said.

"There's been a lot of traffic. There haven't really been a lot of slow downs except when a truck caught on fire. But there's a lot of state troopers and cops out," said Eythan Kramm. 

"Outside of Knoxville was horrible. We got stuck for an hour and a half last night going maybe 5 miles. It was horrible," said Amy Dance.

Many travelers will be feeling pain at the pump as gas prices are the highest they've been in four years. The national average as of Friday morning was around $2.97 per gallon, which could climb this weekend. The average in the commonwealth was about $2.76. In Roanoke, the average was about $2.64.

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