WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Along with great weather this weekend, Labor Day is also going to bring more traffic than usual. AAA is expecting an eight-percent increase in travel this Labor Day with more than 930,000 North Carolinians hitting the road. AAA attributes part of the increase to lower gas prices.
North Carolina’s average price for a gallon of regular is $2.58. That’s down 11 cents from the summer peak on August 11 and 16 cents lower than Memorial Day gas prices. If you’re going through Fayetteville, that’s your best bet to get gas. It’s the cheapest in the state at $2.54 a gallon. Boone is the most expensive at $2.64 a gallon.
AAA expects about 70,000 more motorists to vacation more than 50 miles from home this holiday than last year. Briana Kelly is one of them.
“We are going to Afton, VA, to visit to go visit Grammy to avoid the crowds of the beach,” Kelly said.
AAA says Hurricane Earl did not cause people to cancel their plans.
“It actually made us run earlier,” Kelly said. “We were going to go on Saturday, and then we decided to get the kids out of school a little early and go today.”
Even with lower gas prices, high unemployment and economic uncertainty are holding some people back, like Melvin Powell and his wife.
“We just can’t afford it, so we decided we’d stay right here,” Powell said. “Plus, she’ll be working this weekend anyway, so we just going to stay right here.”
Law enforcement will be out in full force this weekend looking for drunk drivers. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program cited nearly 1,300 motorists for DWI during its “Booze It and Lose It” campaign over the Fourth of July weekend. Similar checkpoints will be set-up around the state this weekend.