CHICAGO (AP) _ The National Safety Council said Thursday that 380 to 480 people may die in traffic accidents during the long Memorial Day weekend.

The three-day holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday, local time, and ends at midnight Monday for counting purposes.

During last year's Memorial Day weekend, 416 people died in traffic accidents, the Chicago-based council said.

The worst Memorial Day traffic toll in the last quarter century was recorded in 1968, when 629 people died. The lowest recorded toll, in 1982, was 341.

About 390 traffic deaths on U.S. roadways would be projected for a non- holiday, three-day weekend this time of year, statistics clerk Mary Johnston said Thursday.