Memorial Day Travel Tips for Professional Truck Drivers

Post Date - May 25, 2023

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and many Americans take to the roads to visit family and friends, attend parades or events, or simply enjoy a weekend getaway.

According to the AAA, around 40 million travelers are on the road over the holiday weekend. For professional truck drivers, this means navigating increased traffic and longer wait times. Here is some information on the holiday you may not know and some tips to help you travel safely and handle traffic delays during the holiday weekend.

What is Memorial Day and why do we celebrate it?

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed on the last Monday of May each year. It is a day dedicated to honoring and remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military. The holiday has its origins in the aftermath of the Civil War, when communities across the country began holding events to commemorate fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and flags, giving rise to the original name, Decoration Day.

Today, Memorial Day is commemorated with a variety of heartfelt tributes and celebrations that honor the fallen military heroes. One of the most common ways people pay their respects is by visiting cemeteries and memorials, where they lay flowers, wreaths, and flags on the graves of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Many communities also hold local parades featuring veterans, military personnel, and marching bands, as well as special services at churches and other public venues. Additionally, the National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time, when Americans are encouraged to pause for a moment of silence to reflect on the meaning of the day.

While Memorial Day is a solemn occasion, prompting gatherings with family and friends for barbecues and outdoor activities, serving as an opportunity to cherish the freedom and values protected by those who have given their lives in service to their country.

Quick tips to keep in mind for the holiday weekend

  • Truck drivers should anticipate delays from Wednesday through Memorial Day.
  • We know you have delivery deadlines, but watch your speed, drive defensively, and arrive safely. Chances of a crash triple when driving speeds increase by slowing down the brake and stopping time.
  • People like to let loose during the holiday -- watch for impaired drivers and call 911 immediately if you see someone driving recklessly.
  • Minimize lane changes. The less you have to change lanes, the less chance of an accident.

Plan Your Weekend Route

One of the best ways to avoid traffic delays is something professional drivers do regularly: Plan your route in advance. However, during a holiday weekend, it’s especially important to use real-time traffic updates and road information on your GPS or smartphone apps to make sure you can avoid congested areas. If possible, try to travel outside of peak driving hours, such as late at night or early in the morning.

Be Prepared for Delays

Even with the best planning, traffic delays can still occur during busy holidays like Memorial Day. Be prepared for delays by bringing snacks, water, and other essentials to help you stay comfortable while you wait. It's also important to have a fully charged phone and emergency supplies in case of an accident or other emergency.

Tips for Safe and Stress-Free Travel

Heavy traffic increases the possibility of accidents and puts drivers at risk of experiencing frustration, fatigue, and stress. The increased number of vehicles on the road can lead to longer waits, delays and backups, which can cause irritated and impatient drivers, leading to reckless driving behavior. Guard against this with these tips:

  • Map out alternative routes in case of traffic or delays
  • Expect delays and leave early to allow for extra travel time
  • Be courteous and patient with other drivers
  • Avoid driving if you feel tired or drowsy
  • Take regular breaks to stretch your legs, hydrate, and refresh

Keep Your Distance

During heavy traffic, it's easy to get frustrated and forget the rules of safe driving. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and stay patient. Remember that safety always comes first.

At Boyd Bros., we love our veterans! We encourage you to join our team where your service and experience is valued and respected!

If your current carrier does not put your safety and wellbeing first, we invite all professional drivers to take a closer look at Boyd Bros.! We are here to support you in building a rewarding truck driving career. Connect with us today!