AAA of Northern California predicts more than 3.7 million Gold State residents will travel 50 miles or more from home this Labor day holiday weekend. That’s a 3.4 percent increase over last year.
Of those, 2.9 million Californians will drive to their destination, a 3.6 percent jump from Labor Day 2011. Meanwhile, 490,000 will fly and 300,000 will reach their destinations via bus, train or watercraft. Those numbers are up compared to last year, as well.
Nationwide, more than 33 million people will venture at least 50 miles from home, AAA projected. That’s 2.9 percent increase compared to 2011.
If you plan to drive, be aware of two things:
- Gas prices are on the rise due to oil shortages related to the Chevron fire earlier this month in Richmond and Hurricane Isaac battering the gulf coast.
- Police agencies will have every officer on duty and on the lookout for drunk drivers and other traffic scofflaws.
To save money on gas, AAA recommends:
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Stay away from premium fuel unless your vehicle requires it;
- Follow the speed limit;
- Avoid hard acceleration and braking;
- Idling wastes gas; and
- Travel light.
If your holiday plans involve consuming alcohol or “medicinal” marijuana, don’t drive. Legal fees, traffic fines and insurance costs exceed $20,000 and your live will forever change.
To help drivers get home safely, AAA is offering a program called, “Tipsy Tow.”
From 6p.m. Sept. 3 through 6 a.m. Sept. 4, members and non-members can call (800) 222-4357 — or AAA-HELP — for a free one-way ride and tow of up to five miles from the party site to the inebriated driver’s home.