4th of July weekend driving is likely to be the stuff nightmares are made of–especially in major metropolitan areas. Photo: Shutterstock

Over 47 million Americans are expected to be traveling through this coming Fourth of July weekend, down only 2.5% from the record-setting 2019.

All forms of travel will be on the rise for this holiday stretch, but 91%–43.6 million–will be by car during this projected second-highest travel period–5% higher than the Independence Day weekend two years ago.

3.5 million Americans are traveling by air, with air travel volumes this Independence Day reaching 90% of pre-pandemic levels, up 164% over last year, reports Csbj

“Travel is back this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue vacations they’ve deferred for the last year and a half,” said AAA/Auto Club Group Vice President Debbie Haas. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the kickoff to summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day.”

AAA and transportation analyst INRIX predicts insufferable road traffic beginning Friday, with a perfect storm of work commuters making an early exit clash with holiday travelers. Delays in major metropolitan areas could reach three times the average. The same is expected the Monday after the Fourth. 

AAA Regional Director Skyler McKinley says droves of people are anxious to resume regulation-free trips post-pandemic. 

“As we emerge from a chaotic year, Americans are increasingly opting for the sense of freedom and control they get from road tripping,” McKinley said. “Here’s how much travel demand is surging: Gas prices are at their highest point in seven years, and despite that, everyone’s choosing to drive — in record numbers.”

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