Memorial Day Traffic

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Planning on heading out of town for the holiday weekend? Heavy traffic will be moving through our area, and that means the potential for more road accidents. Authorities in Dothan are stressing one thing above all this weekend, especially Friday because the end of the work week means the beginning of Memorial Day weekend.

Thousands across the country are hitting the road for the holiday weekend, and that could make for a pretty dangerous situation.

"Everybody is in a hurry. We have a lot of speeding through town. We have a lot of angry people at each other that somebody may accidentally cut someone off. And through the night we're out looking for DUIs, the person that's gone out, had a good time, and decided to drive after drinking," said Sgt. Tim Ward.

So what should you do to make sure you stay safe on the road?

Sgt. Tim Ward said, "As soon as they get in their vehicle everyone should buckle up in their vehicle. Plan an alternate route if they're going to drive to areas that they know are going to be congested."

The heavy traffic this weekend will also affect local businesses.

For stop and go places like fast food restaurants, the extra traffic is good news, but some business owners say the heavier traffic does deter some customers from stores and sit down restaurants.

"The traffic is helping one way. We do get some business out of it, but the fast food places get a lot more than I do, because it's kind of pick up and go,” said Tim Reeves

To accommodate the situation, traffic signals in and around Dothan will last a little longer this weekend to keep the flow of traffic moving, but that also means that people will have to wait at traffic lights for a little longer as well.

That is where that patience needs to kick in. Law enforcement officials are stressing that people drive slowly and carefully to avoid accidents. They also say they will have extra officers on the road this weekend to make sure everyone is safe.

Authorities say they also expect to see a 20 to 30 percent increase in traffic accidents this weekend.