Tips for Safe Memorial Day Travels

Published 6:44 pm Friday, May 25, 2018

From AAA Carolinas

AAA Carolinas expects roughly 1.7 million Carolinians to be traveling by vehicle this Memorial Day weekend, which means heavy traffic and a higher risk for collision. In order to get you and your passengers to your destination safely, AAA recommends the following safety tips.
Before hitting the road:

  • Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. Check the battery life, engine coolant and tire pressure.
  • Map your route in advance. Have the directions printed out or designate a passenger to be in charge of phone directions to avoid the distraction behind the wheel.
  • Consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Keep anything of value in the trunk or hidden in the car so that it is not visible through the windows.
  • If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers on your pit-stops and accompany them to restrooms during stops.
  • Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
  • Keep a cell phone (fully charged) safely secured in your vehicle for emergency calls.
  • Have an emergency kit complete with water, medicine, snacks, jumper cables and a first aid kit.

During the trip:

  • Never drive distracted. Put the phone away. Disconnect and Drive. Avoid behaviors such as eating, applying make-up and adjusting the navigation system while driving.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Don’t speed. Drive according to the weather and road conditions.
  • With rain forecasted in some parts of the Carolinas, use caution when driving on wet roads:
  • Avoid cruise control (when driving in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle increases in cruise control mode)
  • Slow down and leave room. Avoid hard braking or turning sharply and give yourself ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance.
  • If you feel your car begin to skid, continue to look and steer in the direction in which you want the car to go and avoid slamming on the brakes as this will upset balance.
  • Expect heavy traffic and delays, as the roads will be busy. Avoid road rage by using turn signals, maintaining a good distance behind the vehicle in front of you and never engaging in interactions with other drivers. Exercise patience and understanding.
  • Never drink and drive or get in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.
  • Obey the Move Over Law when passing emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

For the latest on construction delays, go to the North Carolina Department of Transportation website, Click on Travel & Maps and then on the Traveler Information Management System for up-to-date traffic information related to closed travel lanes, accidents or expected congestion.
South Carolina will suspend construction projects along interstates and high volume multi-lane primary routes throughout the holiday weekend.
Before setting out for Memorial day, download the free AAA mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.1 million member and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.