Fourth of July Weekend: Expect Record-Breaking Traffic, Low Gas Prices

Let’s face it: traffic on Fourth of July weekend is unavoidable.

But, while there is some bad news pertaining to this year’s Independence Day weekend, there’s also some good news. Let’s start with the bad.

From June 30 to July 4, a record-breaking 37.5 million Americans are expected to drive at least 50 miles away from home, according to a report recently published by AAA. That would be a 2.9 percent increase over figures from last year’s Independence Day weekend. When you factor in all methods of transportation, 44.2 million people are expected travel, which would be the most for any Fourth of July weekend ever.

So why the staggering increase? The reasons might surprise you.

“Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing, said in a statement.

Now for the good news.

Average gas prices could be as low as $2.21, the lowest they’ve been on Independence Day since 2005, according to, via USA TODAY. The average national gas price Thursday was $2.24, five cents lower than it was at the same time last year.

If prices continue to drop as expected, the cost of gas reportedly will represent the first time prices on Independence Day were lower than they were on New Year’s Day in the 17 years that GasBuddy has been tracking the statistic.

The reason for the historically low prices is a global excess — and consequently lower cost — of crude oil, according to USA TODAY.

So, sit back, relax and save some money as your left arm burns to a crisp.

Thumbnail photo via Flickr/Michael Gil

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