Independence Day Drivers Set to Hit Record Numbers

AAA expects highest number of automobile travelers since 2000
Photograph: Shutterstock

ORLANDO, Fla. Independence Day 2019 is poised to break travel records, thanks to lower gasoline prices and a strong economy, AAA reports.

A projected 41.4 million travelers will hit the road this Independence Day holiday, which AAA defines as the five-day period from Wednesday, July 3, to Sunday, July 7, 2019. This would mark a 4.3% increase in automobile travel from last year and the sixth consecutive increase for the Independence Day holiday. In sheer numbers, the increase represents an additional 1.9 million drivers on the road.

The expected milestone follows record-setting automobile travel for other major holidays in the past year, including Memorial Day 2019 and the year-end 2018 holiday period.

“This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast to coast are eager to travel,” said Paula Twidale, vice president of AAA Travel, Orlando, Fla.

AAA points to strong economic fundamentals and low gasoline prices for the increase. The national retail average for gasoline hit $2.66 per gallon June 25, or 19 cents per gallon less than this same time a year ago.

“Gas prices are, on average, 17 cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, which is welcome news for motorists hitting the road to celebrate the July Fourth holiday,” said Jeanette Casselano, gas price expert for AAA. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks.”

AAA, in collaboration with INRIX, a provider of traffic intelligence, expects the heaviest traffic congestion on Wednesday, July 3, as rush-hour commuters combine with holiday travelers. Typical commute times could more than triple in metropolitan areas such as New York and Boston, with a 9% increase in travel delays expected nationwide.

Independence Day Travel Forecast


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