Traffic jams on main roads and motorways can be expected as people leave work tonight and head off for the long weekend. The A13 in Normandy has been flagged up as potentially being very busy. There is an orange alert for most of France but red in the Ile de France and the Rhone valley.
Saturday is also an orange alert for the middle of the morning and the middle of the afternoon while Sunday is likely to be a quieter day on the roads although if it is good weather then there could be localised jams around popular areas along the coast.
Roads around Le Mans could also be busy as it is the French Motorcycle Grand Prix, especially the A11 and A28 motorways. Organisers said that there are likely to be more motorbikes on the roads than normal and they are urging car drivers to be aware.
An orange alert has also been declared for Monday, especially the early evening when those who have been away for the long weekend start their return journey.
Driving organisations are urging people to plan their routes and leave early if they can and make sure they are well prepared having checked their oil and water levels if they are on a long journey.
The Association PrÃ©vention RoutiÃ¨re (APR) advises drivers to check their cars before starting out, including wind screen wipers and brake lights, to prepare their route and to respect speeds and road controls.
A spokesman said that those who are not used to longer journeys should take extra care. â€˜Driving on a motorway is more tiring for those who do not do it all the time, especially on longer journeys. Often concentration can be affected by the monotony of the route. Losing concentration is one of the main causes of fatal accidents on motorways,â€™ the spokesman explained.