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Traffic congestion could be heavy this holiday weekend

With today being the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend, and with it the unofficial beginning of summer and summer driving, to the beach or on longer vacations, if you are heading out on the road, you will find you are not alone.

The AAA estimates that more than 37 million American will drive 50 or more miles this weekend to a destination. And it may seem like all 37 million are on the road in Connecticut. Heading to certain destinations may feel worse than others. Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach and Cape May are all top travel destinations from Connecticut, so those roads may be more congested than normal.

As gas prices hold at the lowest level in five years, AAA projects that it will be the busiest Memorial Weekend in 10 years and the summer vacation season will likewise witness an increase.

Connecticut drivers who attempt to beat the congested interstates should take note of a recent study that found the state has the nation's deadliest rural roads. They only carry 10 percent of the traffic, but generate more than 40 of the state's fatalities.

All of the usual problems occur, with speeding, distracted driving and drunk driving all contribute to these fatal accidents, but the other factor is the age of many of these roads. Some are more than 300 years old, narrow, winding, hilly and lacking shoulders. Place a speeding driver, glancing at their cellphone on one of these roads, and the outcome is often deadly.

So give yourself plenty of time, wear your seat belts and avoid alcohol and you won't need a memorial for your Memorial Day weekend.

Source: usatoday.com, "Want to beat Memorial weekend traffic? Leave yesterday," John Bacon, May 21, 2015

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