AAA Says 4th Of July This Year Could Be ‘Historic’

More Americans are expected to travel to vacation destinations than in the past.


Towson, Md (KM). The highways and skyways are expected to be crowded this year during the July 4th Holiday period. “Not only here in Maryland, but nationally, we are seeing the greatest travel volume that we’ve seen for this holiday on record,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, public and government affairs manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Nationally, AAA projects that 44.2-million Americans will be traveling 50-miles or more from home during the Independence Day Holiday,w which is 2.6% increased from last year. “Here in Maryland, we’re projecting that 927,000 Marylanders will be traveling. That’s nearly a 3% increased compared to last year, and it’s actually a 61% increase from the post recession low we saw in 2009,” says Averella.

AAA says more Americans feel confident in the economy this year. “There’s a stronger overall economic growth and a stronger consumer sentiment. Those are also factors we believe in why more people are traveling for this particular 4th of July Holiday,” Averella says.

AAA MId-Atlantic says 87% of Marylanders who plan to travel will be driving, and 7% are going by air. “We always remind motorist and travelers in general to pack their patience,” says Averella.

The use of other modes of travel, such as trains, buses and cruises, are also up this year, according to AAA.

The 4th of July travel period is defined as Friday, June 30th to Tuesday, July 4th, even though some travelers will be heading out earlier or later.

Before you head out by car, Averella says get your vehicle road-ready by having a mechanic look it over. That includes checking the belts, hoses and tires, and making sure your engine’s oil is clean. “The last thing you want  is to have a breakdown on the side of the road as you’re heading to your holiday destination or trying to start your vacation,” she says.

When you’re driving, pay close attention to the road. “Make sure mom or dad or whomever is driving is not driving distracted. No cell phones. No texting while driving,” says Averella.

During last year’s July 4th Holiday period, AAA says it answered 338,000 disabled motorist calls across the country. In the Mid-Atlantic region, that number was 32,000, including 8300 in Maryland.


By Kevin McManus