BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders will begin the trek home Monday after an extended Labor Day weekend.
It’s back to school and work after summer’s last gasp.
About 1.8 million drivers will use Maryland highways this weekend, a projected 1% increase from last year.
It’s estimated 350,000 of those cars will be taking the Bay Bridge.
AAA officials say lower gas prices could be fueling the increase in weekenders behind the wheel.
“While we have seen recent increases in the price of gas, we will still be paying significantly lower prices than we paid this time last year,” Ragina Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson.
It’s good news for drivers like Jerome Randall.
“This is a holiday, so I knew it was going to go up. I was trying to find the cheapest one,” he said.
According to Gas Buddy, the average cost per gallon in Maryland is $2.21 — just a few cents over the current national average. Compare that to $2.37 a gallon in Maryland last year.
“Gas prices will be the lowest they’ve been for Labor Day than we’ve seen since 2004,” says Averella.
Still, with about 35-million drivers using the nation’s highways this weekend officials want drivers to keep safety in mind.
AAA safety tips:
-Drive during off-peak hours (early in the morning or after 10:00 p.m.)
-Wear your seatbelt
-Use your headlights
-Check travel conditions for accidents
Maryland State Police are ready with sobriety checkpoints and increased presence throughout the state.
Although this is a big travel weekend, there are typically about 9 percent fewer travelers on Labor Day weekend than on Memorial Day weekend and about 17-percent fewer than Independence Day.