Independence Day: What You Need to Know Before You Hit the Road

If you haven’t already left, get ready for a BUSY road ahead. AAA has forecasted the fourth highest traffic Independence Day weekend on record, with 43 million expected to travel this year–and an impressive 5 million more than traveled during the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. EXPECT HEAVY TRAFFIC: Leave as early as you possibly can.

84% of July 4th travelers are driving this weekend because lower gas prices are calling those that normally settle for staycations farther away from their homes. Gas prices are their lowest since 2005, and Americans have saved over $20 billion in gasoline compared to this time last year. If you’re still on the fence about your plans for the 4th, we suggest you take the trip to see family and that you go by car. There’s also some bad news about car travel, and we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t tell you: It’s dangerous out there this weekend!

In fact, the Independence Day travel period, roughly estimated to include the time between Thursday and the Tuesday after the holiday this year, will rank as the most perilous time to drive in 2016, with 37% more highway fatalities on July 4 than any other day. Partly to blame for this trend is the ~$1 billion in beer sold during this season. Yes, this is the part where we warn you about the dangers of drinking and driving: Over 112 million episodes of drinking and driving occur every year. 

If the family headquarters is overcrowded or just too stressful for your liking, hotels are a little cheaper right now, too. In fact, hotel rates have decreased an estimated 4% from last year.
Sure, taking a plane or train saves time, but these transportation methods will cost you about 2% more than previous years.

Key takeaways? GO enjoy your 4th of July, and don’t hesitate to get out of town for a few days. But be careful, wear your seatbelt, and get a designated driver even if you’ve only had one drink. Then tell us your awesome stories when we all get back on the 5th. Happy (long) Independence Day weekend!

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