TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — This weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer, but roads might be looking a little empty.

AAA said this year is expected to be a record low of Memorial Day travelers because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some drivers said they are taking advantage of it.

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Dave Pisanic and his friends hit the highway and headed to Ocean City, Maryland without a traffic jam in sight.


“A lot less people on the road,” he said. “A lot less traffic. It only took us about 10 – 15 minutes to get here. In the past it would take us an hour, two hours.”

Instead of the usual bumper to bumper traffic on the Bay Bridge, the roads were clear.

In fact, AAA said for the first time in 20 years, they’re not issuing a Memorial Day travel forecast because of the pandemic.

“The economic data that we use to help us do the projections, or forecast, has been undermined because of the coronavirus,” Ragina Ali, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, said.

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AAA said last year was the second-highest number of Maryland travelers for Memorial Day, with over 918,000 people. This year’s numbers are looking a little different.

“We certainly expect travel to be at record lows,” Ali said.

But it’s not just travel numbers that are setting a record. AAA said it’s also gas prices, with Maryland at 90 cents below the national average.

Drivers said they are taking advantage of it.

“It only takes me like $20 – 30 to fill my vehicle up,” Scott Willhelm said.

“Right before we got to the gas station, I told them all I know is I want 1.99 for my gas, so I’m excited,” Tavia Evans Foster said.

Before you hit the road, AAA said if your car has been sitting in the driveway for a few weeks or months, make sure it is road ready by checking your tires and car battery.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner