AAA

Photo via Flickr//tobo / https://flic.kr/p/6kEiiK

AAA projects more than 38 million Americans will be on the road this Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

The Memorial Day period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to the actual holiday on Monday the 30th.

“We’re expecting an additional 700,000 Memorial Day travelers,” said Mark Jenkins at AAA-South in Tampa. “Largely because growth in the labor market [and] people making more money. But the biggest reason is low gas prices.”

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

An aging population with a need for independence can be problematic when it comes to matters related to driving. 

Fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65, studies show. From 75 to 84, they are equal to fatality rates of teenage drivers. For drivers 85 and over the rates are nearly 4 times that of teens.  By 2030 all baby boomers will be at least 65 and experts predict they will responsible for more than a fourth of all fatal crashes. 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the importance of the Fourth of July holiday weekend to local beach tourism and his latest viewpoint on wage growth.

First, visitors and locals alike will be celebrating Independence Day across the gulf coast this weekend.

According to Harper, the forward looking indicators are very strong.

“We’re seeing low gas prices, lowest they’ve been really in about five years,” he said. “We’re also seeing job growth.”

Josh Morton

Last week almost 40 older adult drivers showed up to take part in the first ever CarFit event to be held at the University of West Florida. CarFit is an educational program that looks at issues older drivers may be having, and seeks to find and present solutions to these issues, bringing about a better sense of safety and comfort to the drivers and the vehicles they are being fitted for.

Fran Carlin-Rogers, a national CarFit instructor, drove up from Orlando to do the training for all of the participating CarFit volunteers as well as run the event itself. 

CarFit

The University of West Florida Center on Aging is hosting a CarFit event this week on the UWF Main Campus. The CarFit program teaches older adult drivers how to make their personal vehicle “fit” them better for increased mobility and improved safety when they hit the road.

AAA Auto Club

A number of new laws have gone into effect in the new year, including one that will affect parents of young children.

Michele Harris, the Director of Traffic Safety Culture at Triple A says parents must now have children in car seats until they reach the age of 6. the old law which Harris says was one of the weakest in the country, only required children to be in car safety seat until they reached age 4.

Photo via Flickr//Rahull Verma

Nearly 35 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, according to AAA. That’s the highest volume for the holiday since 2008, and 1.3 % more than a year ago.

Summertime destinations are the same on Labor Day as they are on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July: beaches, theme parks, and visiting family and friends.

AAA/fuelgaugereport.aaa.com

Declines in gasoline prices over the past few weeks ended over the weekend, thanks to the violence in Iraq, the second largest crude producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. 

Photo via Instagram// @heiditakacs

AAA is predicting the busiest Memorial Day travel weekend since the end of the Great Recession.

Just over 36 million Americans are expected to journey 50 miles or more from home between Thursday and next Monday. Mark Jenkins with the auto club’s Tampa office says that’s up one and a half percent from a year ago.

“We had a very harsh winter season, and a lot of people weren’t able to travel much,” said Jenkins. “This the first opportunity for many people to get out there and take that trip.”

"Gone with the wind" by Marcin Wichary via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/5jhTyw

Governor Rick Scott has announced he will veto a bill passed during this year's legislative session that would have allowed the Florida Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit on certain highways to 75 miles per hour. Any speed limit increase would have required a study of the highway in question. The Governor made the announcement after being lobbied by law enforcement agencies across the state and by  Florida AAA.

Photo via Flickr//Taber Andrew Bain

Memorial Day, the so-called “unofficial start of summer,” is eight weeks away and counting. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks at the first of a series of AAA's suggestions on how to save money on that vacation. This installment deals with lodging.

Jessica Brady at AAA South in Tampa says the one rule of thumb the auto club wants everyone to remember is that historically, the closer Memorial Day looms, booking a hotel will become harder and more expensive.

Photo via Flickr//Michael Kappel

Gas prices in Florida average $3.63 per gallon -- seven cents more than a week ago. That makes the Sunshine State the most expensive at the pump in the Southeast.

All of the usual suspects in early spring -- refinery maintenance, increasing demand and the switch to summer-blend fuel -- remain factors. But Mark Jenkins at AAA South in Tampa says other influences are making their presence known.

If gas prices are on the rise, we must be getting close to spring break. 

wstribune.com

Although gas prices have remained relatively stable since the start of the year, Triple-A is predicting they will rise as spring approaches.

The auto club believes prices at the pump will rise to about three dollars-75 cents per gallon, a bit less than last year’s peak of 3.79. Spokeswoman Jessica Brady says motorists likely are facing a jump soon.  

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Michael Wyszomierski

If you're planning on doing some traveling for the holidays you are not alone.  According to Jessica Brady, a spokesperson for AAA, this will be the busiest holiday travel season on record, with an estimated 94.5 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home during the two week period. They estimate the average round trip will be a little over 800 miles. In Florida the number of travelers will be up slightly from last year.

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