Record-breaking Memorial Day Weekend travel increases danger to drivers

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

About 38 million people will be traveling over Memorial Day weekend according to AAA, the most since 2005, and that means more dangers to look out for on the roads.

The record-breaking travel weekend is thanks in large part to relatively low gas prices, and with 700,000 more people expected on the roads this weekend compared to last year, the risks go up as well.

Obeying the traffic laws and watching out for what's around you is a good way to make it from Point A to Point B just fine, but for state troopers in Iowa and Illinois, that doesn't always happen. That's why they've spent the entire month of May preparing drivers for what to expect over Memorial Day weekend and for what not to do -- drinking and driving, speeding, driving without a seat belt and distracted driving.

For the Illinois State Police, they'll be out in full force over the weekend making sure that drivers are heeding their warnings.

"Unfortunately, what we also get calls about are severe crashes. It seems that, more frequently, the crashes are becoming rear-end crashes because the driver doesn't recognize the danger until it's too late," Trooper Jason Wilson with Illinois State Police said.

Wilson says that they'll be spread out across major roadways in what they call a "wolfpack formation," going from place to place, focusing on one of the major dangers on the road.

"A section of the interstate in one detail where they're going to concentrate on speeding, and they might go into town on the next detail and concentrate on people who are talking on their phones or not wearing their seat belt. Or it could be the roadside safety checks," Wilson said.

The biggest thing that troopers from Iowa and Illinois don't want to do is respond to a deadly accident, especially one that can easily be prevented.

AAA says that this year will also be a record year for stranded drivers, saying they're expected to rescue about 350,000 people over the weekend. Checking your brakes, tires and car battery before traveling can help keep you off that list.