Thousands of Utahns expected to hit the road for Labor Day

Posted at 10:13 PM, Aug 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-01 00:13:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY --  Thousands of Utahns are hitting the road for Labor Day weekend, and experts have some tips for safe, easy travel.

According to data from AAA Utah, the number of Americans traveling for Labor Day weekend will be at its highest level in five years.

Rolyane Fairclough of AAA Utah said a great number of people will be hitting the road.

"Two and a half million mountain state residents plan to go at least 50 miles or more this holiday,” she said.

The number represents nearly a 5.5 percent increase from last year, which Fairclough said is a good sign for the economy.

"If people feel good about their own personal finances, then they can take a trip, so we kind of look at travel as a barometer for the economy and how people are feeling,” she said. “It's really a good indicator all the way around, not only for the economy, but for all those industries that service travelers."

Fairclough said many travelers may stay reasonably close to home.

"We're seeing a lot of people want to go hiking,” she said. “They want to go sightseeing. They want to do those kinds of things, they want to be with family and friends, so that indicates we're going to have a lot of travelers that want to stay within the state since we've got such lovely places for them to hike and to sightsee.”

Fariclough said there are some things travelers can do to stay safe on the busy roadways.

"First of all, make sure you keep everybody in their safety restraints,” she said. “Often times people take them off when they're on long trips. They just get uncomfortable. They just take their seat belts off, let their children out of their safety seats, but that is just such a dangerous thing to do."

Fairclough also said it’s a good idea to be aware of construction projects.

"Plan your route ahead, but before you set it in stone go on the Department of Transportation's websites to any state you want to visit and see what the construction looks like on those routes."