CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 22, 2012) An estimated 884,000 North Carolina motorists – a 2.2%
increase over last year - are expected to begin traveling Thursday as the
summer travel season kicks off with the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
North Carolina average of $3.55 cents per gallon for regular, unleaded gasoline
is a 36-cents a gallon drop since the April 6th peak 2012 price of
$3.91. North Carolina’s average price is now 22 cents a gallon less than May 22nd,
declining gasoline prices, a slight improvement in the economy and a desire to
spend the holiday with family and friends means more vehicles on the road this
year,” said David E. Parsons, CEO and president of AAA Carolinas.
total of 1,007,100 North Carolinians are expected to travel more than 50 miles
from home, with a drop in those flying to 63,100 (down 5.7%) from 67,000 last
year. Other travel (bus, rail, maritime) is expected to remain the same at
has the state’s highest prices at $3.76 on average. North Carolina’s cheapest gas is in High
Point at $3.45, and the state average of $3.55 is the 10th lowest in
the United States. South Carolina currently has the nation’s lowest average
price for a gallon of regular unleaded at $3.34.
are expected to be shorter, down from 730 round trip miles last year to 570
this year. Average national hotel rates are up 8% to $160 a night compared to
$148 last year; daily car rental rates are down 4% to $36 from $38 last year.
(65%) of travelers said they expect to visit with friends and relatives and 69%
say they expect to dine out. The beach will attract 48% of the travelers, 37%
expect to do some shopping and 19% will visit a theme or amusement park.
prices have been steadily declining in North Carolina since early April and are
expected to continue to do so in the next several weeks due to abundant
supplies, a weak Euro due to financial uncertainty in the European Union,
slower economic growth in China and no oil-related threats in the Mid-East.
might see a slight stabilization in gas prices, or even a mild increase over
the weekend, but prices should continue to drop well into June, unless some
unforeseen event occurs,” said Parsons.
start of Memorial Day begins the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers, with 7
of the 10 most deadly days of the year occurring between Memorial Day and Labor
Day, according to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
biggest contributor to those fatal accidents are passengers in the car and AAA
recommends parents discuss this and other driver distraction issues, like
texting, with their teens, especially 16- and 17-old drivers.
bookings are up 11% over last Memorial Day and Carolinians have reserved
roughly 18% more rental cars than this holiday last year, according to AAA
Carolinas, operator of the largest leisure travel agency in the Carolinas. AAA Carolina members have requested 6% more
Internet TripTiks® compared to the same time period last year.
construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended
beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 25, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 29.
the latest on construction delays go to the North Carolina Department of
Transportation website. Click on Travel and Maps and then on the Traveler
Information Management System for up-to-date traffic information relating to
closed travel lanes, traffic accidents or expected congestion due to sporting events,
like Charlotte’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race this weekend.
Memorial Day holiday survey data begins Thursday, May 24 and ends Sunday May
27. Survey data is taken from AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, AAA/HIS Global
Insight holiday travel forecast and AAA Carolinas data.
Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a
not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.8 million members with
travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the
safety and security of all travelers.