Officials Urge Drivers To Take Precautions As Travel Increases This Weekend


Sunday, May 24th 2020, 11:44 pm
By: Hunter McKee


NORMAN, Okla. -

As traffic increased on Memorial Day weekend, there were also more reported accidents. 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported 14 injury accidents and five deaths, including a boating accident on Lake Eufaula, since Friday. 

AAA said it’s still important for drivers to not let adrenaline or surge built up result in risky driving.

“There are some very unnerving trends that we’re seeing related to safety on our roads when people are getting out and speeding,” Oklahoma AAA Public Affairs Manager Leslie Gamble said. “With reckless driving, a disproportionate number of crashes and fatalities with less people on the road.”

AAA has done a travel forecast for Memorial Day for each of the past 20 years. 2019 was the highest volume of traffic for a Memorial Day weekend. 

There is no forecast for 2020 due to COVID-19. While driving overall has decreased significantly, they have seen some uptick in travel bookings.

“Memorial Day signals the beginning of summer travel and many families have plans that start with this once we know that kids are going to be out of school,” Gamble said. “It is a change in our whole culture related to travel that we’re going through right now.”

Oklahoma Blood Institute Executive Director of Community Relations Tara Scott said the OBI is in critical need for blood.

“As people become more active, unfortunately, accidents increase and we have to make sure that there’s blood on the shelf for patients in our hospitals,” Scott said. “I have never seen anything like this. We need 1,200 donors a day to ensure that we meet hospital needs and we’re not there yet.”

AAA said if you choose to travel this weekend, be aware and don’t take any chances.