For the first time in two decades, AAA is not issuing a Memorial Day traffic estimate. The report usually kicks off a summer of road trips, congestion, and sweltering aggravation in the U.S. But not this year.
Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions across the county will have a severe impact on traffic. "Anecdotal reports suggest fewer people will hit the road compared to years past," said AAA in a press release. That's probably an understatement.
Many states in the U.S. require visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, definitely putting a crimp in vacation plans. Doubtless, easing restrictions on businesses will not be enough. Travel restrictions will have to be lifted as well to see any economic recovery.
The AAA forecast also usually triggers predictions about rising gas prices, but the kick-off to this holiday season will see the lowest gas prices in almost 20 years. According to AAA, at the start of this week the average gas price across the country was $1.87. The last time it was under $2 a gallon for the same period was 2003 when it was $1.50 a gallon. Those were the days.