Busy travel expected for Memorial Day Weekend

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — With the unofficial kickoff to summer, people are hoping to travel to lakes, state parks, and cities for the Memorial Day Weekend.

North Dakota AAA predicts more than 42 million people will head more than 50 miles from home, a 7% increase compared to 2022.

If you plan on hitting the roads, buckle up or suffer the consequences.

“We do have extra enforcement that is going on right now, the Click it or Ticket, which is a part of a National Seat Belt effort to raise seat belt awareness and it is one of those things. Nobody plans to get in a crash, but if you do get in a crash, a seatbelt will be your best defense.” says Sgt. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol

Grabow says the three months between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the one hundred busiest travel days of the year.

“So, with a bit more travel, and it being so busy, more things can happen such as crashes. We do see an increase in the amount of serious injuries and fatal crashes during those months. We start wondering why is that? Now, we are dealing with some of our best road conditions, clear sunny days, but again we see an increase in the speeds, and it is the physics and science behind that cause the faster you go the more violent the crash becomes and the more violent the crash becomes the greater chance for serious injury or death.” says Grabow

And if you get behind the wheel, authorities want you to make good decisions.

“About 40% of our crashes involve an impaired driver or fatal crashes involve an impaired driver, those are preventable crashes. If people are deciding to drink or use drugs, just don’t get behind the wheel, that is a decision you need to make before you decide to start drinking or using those drugs.” says Capt. Bryan Niewind, North Dakota Highway Patrol

Niewind adds that all construction projects in North Dakota will be paused this weekend.