A lot of people will be on the road this weekend

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, June 28, 2016

AAA projects nearly 1,800,000 Carolinians will travel this Independence Day weekend. This represents the highest Fourth of July travel volume on record. The holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, June 30, to Monday, July 4.

U.S. drivers have saved about $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, which has made travel more affordable than in recent years. A more confident consumer and rising economic activity also are offsetting a cooling labor market to help boost holiday travel.

“We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel,” said Dave Parsons, AAA Carolinas President and CEO. “This trend is welcome news for the travel industry and a sign that Carolinians are taking to our nation’s highways and skies like never before.”

Eighty-four percent of holiday travelers will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 1.2 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 2.2 percent over last year.

Low gas prices are motivating millions of Americans to travel this Independence Day. Despite recent seasonal increases, gasoline prices remain well below recent years. The average price for a gallon of gasoline in North Carolina is $2.18, which is 46 cents less than one year ago. The average price of gas in South Carolina is $2, which is 43 cents less than one year ago. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005.

Last Independence Day, there were seven traffic fatalities in South Carolina during the July 4 holiday, three of those deaths were alcohol related. North Carolina saw 16 traffic fatalities, five of which were alcohol related. AAA’s latest research has shown that using a cell phone while driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, AAA Carolinas encourages all drivers to put their cell phones away while driving.

“One fatality is too many, we want to remind all drivers to be careful this July 4 and disconnect and drive,” Parsons said.

Before setting out for Independence Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.9 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

Connect with AAA Carolinas on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AAAcarolinas and follow us on Twitter at @AAAcarolinas.