Many Americans take advantage of the Labor Day weekend for their last vacation of the summer. 

An online survey by AAA found that 32% of Americans will travel for Labor Day weekend in 2022. Of those who plan to travel 82% will go by car. 

In 2021, the West Virginia Turnpike saw near-record numbers of travelers, according to the WVDOT. 

“Between Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, and Monday, Sept. 6, 418,776 vehicles passed through Turnpike toll plazas, up about four percent compared with the same time last year [2020],” a press release from the WVDOT said on Sept. 7, 2021.  

The heaviest travel days were Friday, Sept. 3 (2021) and Monday, Sept. 6 (2021), when 245,896 vehicles passed through toll plazas. 

West Virginia Turnpike (WVDOT image)

“That’s about 40,000 cars a day more than average,” said Parkways Authority Executive Director Jeff Miller. “Heavier-than-usual commercial truck traffic made up much of the increase.” 

According to this year’s press release, the Department of Transportation is expected 400,000 vehicles on the turnpike over the weekend. But with gas prices up and inflation affecting many, travelers might skip the trip.  

According to AAA “80% said they made cutbacks to save money, with those between the ages of 18 to 34 years old cutting back the most.” 

The top areas where consumers saved included: 

  • Non-grocery shopping (clothing, electronics, etc.) – 49% 
  • Driving – 44% 
  • Going to movies – 36% 
  • Flying – 29%

Those who do venture out this Labor Day weekend could hit a bump in the road as AAA East Central predicts 16,724 stranded motorists from Thursday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 5.