Drivers prepare for record-breaking travel holiday weekend

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Some people will kick off their 4th of July holiday weekend beginning Friday. If you’re one of them, make sure you pack your patience.

AAA expects 44.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more away from home. That’s a 3% increase from last year. That will make 2017 the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever.

The increase may not sound like much, but it’s isgnificant when you’re talking about millions of people.

Clay Ingram with AAA tells CBS42 there are several reasons behind the increase including, a stronger economy, lower gas prices and warmer weather.

“I think the biggest reason is most people now feel like a vacation is more of a necessity than a luxury and that’s different than it was years ago,” said Ingram.

Ingram says because the holiday falls on a Tuesday this year, that will likely mean several days of traffic congestion, so prepare yourself.

Gas prices are also likely to encourage more people to hit the road. The state average is about $1.98/gallon. That’s about 10 cents down from this time last year.

A record-breaking holiday weekend has state troopers on high alert.

“People started traveling early and they haven’t stopped now we’re in the summer, gas prices are low there’s a lot of people on the roads anytime you have a increased volume of traffic as troopers we’re always associated that with you have an increased number of people speeding,” said Trooper Chuck Daniel.

Trooper Daniel’s message to drivers, slow down, wear your seat belt, and if it’s raining slow down even more.

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