AAA: More than 600,000 Coloradans to hit the roads for Labor Day

Record-breaking travel trends continue, despite modest gas price increases

DENVER (August 31, 2017) – AAA Colorado projects that more than 600,000 Coloradans will travel 50 or more miles away from home this Labor Day weekend as part of a record-breaking close to the summer driving season.

“2017 has set the curve when it comes to travel statistics: Memorial Day weekend was the busiest since 2005, and Independence Day weekend was the busiest ever,” said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. “Those trends will continue into Labor Day, despite the start of the school year and modest gas price increases linked to Hurricane Harvey.”

Gas Prices
The end of summer, multi-city road trip remains an important Labor Day tradition, according to a survey of AAA Colorado travel experts. Coloradans planning to travel by car to their destination this year, be forewarned: At $2.45 for a gallon of unleaded, national gas prices are higher than they’ve been all year – and are, in fact, at their highest point since August 2015. A combination of increased demand tied to the Labor Day holiday and refinery and pipeline shutdowns caused by Hurricane Harvey have temporarily inflated gas prices, although AAA Colorado anticipates that these increases will be short-lived.

In Colorado, drivers can expect to pay between $2.40 and $2.55 per gallon throughout the Labor Day holiday period. That’s a 20- to 25-cent increase over last year, but a far cry from Colorado’s all-time high: $4.093 a gallon in July 2008.

Motorists hoping to find the cheapest gas along their route can use AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner at ttp.aaa.com.

In-State Travel Advisories
Motorists should avoid traveling through major cities during peak travel times. The best times to leave will be in the early mornings because the roads should be less crowded, and drivers will have more time to get to their destination safely. Traveling on the holiday itself often results in less congestion and fewer crowds.

Road-trippers headed west up I-70 should anticipate some slight delays near Glenwood Springs due to the Grand Avenue bridge construction project. Make no mistake: I-70 is open for business. Exit 116 is closed, however, so travelers headed to the Roaring Fork Valley will need to detour – and other motorists should anticipate heavy traffic during peak driving hours.

Roadside Assistance
AAA Colorado anticipates it will rescue more than 6,600 motorists over the course of the Labor Day holiday, a 20% increase over 2016. Per forecast, 19% of those calls will be battery related, 14% will be for locksmith services, and 18% will be tire, fuel, or winch related. The remaining 49% will involve a tow. Many motorists can avoid an interruption to their travel plans by having their car inspected at a trusted mechanic before setting out for the weekend, planning gas stops out along the way, and checking their tires after every stop.

About AAA Colorado
More than 650,000 members strong, AAA Colorado is the state’s greatest advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services – as well as member-exclusive savings. For more information, visit Colorado.AAA.com.