More Hoosiers hit the road for Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 5:42 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 18:34:45-04

Memorial Day travel will be at its highest level since 2005 with more than 39.3 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles this weekend, according to AAA.

In Indiana, 850,713 residents will be on the go, a nearly 3 percent increase since last year, according to AAA.

Memorial Day gas prices are the highest they’ve been this weekend in a few years, but that’s not deterring travelers from hitting the road.

“So far so good,” said Kim Chappas, who is traveling from Iowa to Ohio. “We live in a very touristy area, so it’s great to get out of town.”

Sandra Whitebear of Wisconsin is traveling with friends to get to Dayton for a bowling tournament.

“There was lots of construction in Chicago,” said Whitebear. “It was horrible. Indiana’s been good so far, but I don’t know. I’ve been asleep.”

Indiana State Police say not only will Hoosiers be traveling, but they’re expecting a lot of people traveling to Indiana and through the state.

“We are the crossroads here, so a lot of people coming in, coming through,” said Sgt. John Perrine, Indiana State Police “State Police will add extra manpower, extra troopers for the roadways this weekend. Not to create a lot of revenue or anything like that, it's to keep the roads safe.”

Bob Stoltz is traveling from Montana to Ohio to visit friends.

“We haven’t seen hardly any troopers, but with an out of state plate, I’ll be the first to get a ticket,” said Stoltz.

Troopers are asking everyone to not drink and drive, buckle up, and slow down.

“We will have specific details out watching for drunk drivers in those areas statistically they’re likely to be,” said Perrine.

Memorial Day predictions from AAA:
• 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than in 2016
• 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year
• 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent.
• 1.75 million travelers, an increase of  2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses
• Drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015. Airfares, car rental rates and mid-range hotels are all trending higher than last Memorial Day.