Record-breaking 48.9 million Americans to travel this Independence Day

National

(NBC News) Getting to your favorite fireworks display or away for the long July 4th weekend could take a little longer this year.

Record travel is expected during the holiday week.

“We are projecting that the travel is going to pick up on Wednesday before the holiday, and in those larger actual areas, you’re going to see travel times from two to four times longer than normal,” says AAA’s Tamra Johnson.

Johnson says the increase in travelers is fueled by a good economy and gas prices almost 20 cents a gallon cheaper than Independence Day last year.

And that’s not all.

“Where the holiday actually falls this year is actually allowing more travelers to spend a little additional time at their destination this year,” she notes.

Safety analysts say highway travel around July 4th is different from other holiday travel periods because traffic is more congested.

“There’s a lot of people moving in a short amount of time to get places, and it creates a perfect storm,” says Cambridge Mobile Telematics CEO Bill Powers.

The vast majority of travelers – 41.4 million – will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 4.3% more than last year. 3.96 million people will take to the skies, the highest number on record and 5.3% more than last year.

If you’re heading to the nation’s capital, the worst time to travel will reportedly be Sunday, July 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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