AAA predicts high July 4th travel

This year's holiday travel projections could be highest in decades

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Anyone hitting the road for Independence Day is not alone. AAA's projections for holiday travel this year are the highest our country's seen in decades.

Analysts project 42.3 million people will journey 50 miles or more from home. That's almost a five percent increase of drivers from last year.

Independence Day falls in the middle of the week this year, so travel is spread out, which could be the reason why the numbers are so high.

For some, Wednesday seems like an odd day to celebrate America's independence. It's during the middle of the week, making planning a little more complicated, drivers hitting the roads on different days.

"Really I've noticed less traffic, on the fourth of July week," driver Kenneth Bryant said. "Maybe because it's in the middle of the week."

Kenneth Bryant thinks traffic is because there's no designated travel day. AAA says the mid-week holiday expands the traditional five day travel period to six days, providing the option of a weekend on either side of the 4th of July.

"For everyone who's actually doing something on the fourth of July, everyone will be doing fireworks and you can't sleep," driver Ashley Meister said. "That gets annoying."

25 percent of the country already hit the road last Friday. 16 percent rolled out on Saturday. 13 percent left on Sunday, 11 percent on Monday and 19 percent on Tuesday.

That leaves the remaining 16 percent leaving July 4th.

The lower price of gas is another factor playing a role in increased travel. The national average for gas is $3.50 per gallon, compared to $3.94 the same time last year.

"It's a little bit high but it went down," Driver Charley Scarberry said. "It's the same as it is in Kentucky. It helped us."

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