DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many people and also marks one of the first trips to the beach.

And according to ALEA, this traffic spike is nothing new.

“Ever since the COVID-19 lockdown we’ve just really seen heavy travel periods during the large holiday extended weekends,” Sergeant Jeremy Burkett said.

Triple-A expects 3.9.2 million people to hit the road for Memorial Day.

Some families however decided to go down to the beach a little earlier.

“We wanted to beat the traffic and so we took our vacation last weekend through Friday,” Georgia resident, Mark Walden said.

And to avoid the holiday rush.

“To avoid the congestion of the traffic going to Panama City,” Georgia resident, Venus Soriano said.

ALEA stresses that drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and make sure they don’t follow other vehicles too close in case of an emergency stop.

“If we get people to get that mindset and understand how necessary that is that can really keep you and your family safe while you are on these long vacation trips,” Sgt. Burkett said.

There has also been a rise across the state in regards to traffic according to ALEA, but the Waldens’ say it’s still manageable

“No, traffic’s been pretty good actually, but we are originally from California where traffic is terrible, so this is nothing to us,” Waldon said.

There has also been a nationwide increase in car accidents and fatalities, so ALEA asks drivers to not drive under the influence and also to make sure they are wearing their seatbelts.

ALEA says they will have more officers on patrol in some of the high congested areas, throughout the state. So be careful, be watchful, but also have fun.