Traffic Alert: Holiday travel begins

Americans will take more trips than ever this Independence Day weekend.

The 44 million people projected to travel represents the highest Fourth of July travel volume on record and five million more travelers compared to Memorial Day weekend. This trend holds true in the Garden State, as AAA Mid-Atlantic projects that almost 1.3 million people will take to the roads, skies, rails and waterways to honor the red, white and blue. AAA defines the holiday travel period as Friday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 4.

AAA Independence Day Travel Highlights

Total Travel

New Jersey, 1.3 million travelers are expected to travel for the July 4th holiday period, a 1.1 percent increase over last year.
Nationally, 44.2 million travelers are expected to travel this Independence Day, a 2.9 percent increase over 2016.
Automobile Travel

New Jersey, 1.1 million (84 percent) will driver to their destination, an increase of 0.9 percent over 2016.
Nationally, 37.5 million (85 percent) Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year.
Air Travel

New Jersey, 104,000 (8.2 percent) will be flying to their destination, an increase of 4 percent from 2016.
Nationally, 3.44 million (7.8 percent) people are taking to the skies this Independence Day, increasing air travel by 4.6 percent over last year.

New Jersey, 99,000 (7.8 percent) will utilize other modes of transportation for their getaway, an increase of 0.9 percent over last year.

Nationally, 3.27 million (7.4 percent) travelers, an increase of 1.4 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.

“With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday,” says Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Kicking summer in to high gear, almost 300,000 more New Jerseyans will be traveling for Independence Day compared to Memorial Day just a little over a month ago.”

AAA to rescue more than 338,000 motorists this Independence Day

Nationally, AAA expects to rescue more than 338,000 motorists this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. From June 30 through July 5 of last year, AAA Mid-Atlantic helped almost 32,000 motorists with vehicle issues, 8,400 of those in New Jersey. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown.

Finally, AAA reminds motorists that temperatures inside parked cars can quickly reach dangerous levels putting unattended children and pets at high risk.

Never leave children or animals unattended in a car—not even for a short period of time. Outside air temperatures, in the nineties, can rise to 125 degrees inside the vehicle within 20 minutes, causing brain damage or death.

When parked, use a sun shield to cover the windshield to minimize heat buildup and to help protect the car’s interior. Cover metal and plastic parts on seat belts and child safety seats to prevent burns.

Open the vehicle’s doors and let the interior cool for a few minutes before entering.

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