Record number of Americans expected to travel for 4th of July

If you plan to travel by car for Fourth of July holiday, it may take you a little more time to reach your destination this year.TRAFFIC PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE

A record-breaking 43 million Americans are expected to travel this Fourth of July weekend, and the vast majority of them will be going by car, according to according to AAA, an auto lobbying group.

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The projection marks a 1.3 percent increase over last year’s level, and represents the highest number of Independence Day travelers ever recorded by the auto group, officials said.

Lower gas prices and growing consumer confidence are expected to fuel the increase, the group said.

Gas prices are expected to dip to their lowest level in 11 years in time for the holiday weekend, the group said.

“Independence Day is always the most-traveled holiday of the summer, but this year it will be bigger than ever, primarily because of low gas prices,” said Joseph J. Richardson Jr., President and CEO of AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Airports will be just as crowded as the roads, because low fuel prices are making it more affordable to fly. If fundamentals remain the same, this could be a record-breaking year for summertime travel.”

Of those planning to leave home this weekend, 36.3 million are expected to drive. That represents a 1.2 percent increase over last year’s level.

In Florida, 2.1 million residents are expected to travel away from their homes between June 30 and July 4, up 2 percent over last year.

Roughly 1.9 million Floridians will travel by car, the auto group said.

“The peak travel times for motorists will be Friday and Monday afternoons,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The best times to leave will be in the morning, because the roads will be less crowded and you will have more time to get to your destination safely.”