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Fourth of July weekend expected to be a busy time for travel

Al Behrman
Trucks move with smaller vehicles on I-75 in Dayton.

The number of drivers on the road this Fourth of July weekend is expected to be the highest in years, according to AAA projections.

Over 50 million Americans are expected to take long trips in the next few days, beating out pre-pandemic numbers from 2019. Ohio could see more than 2 million drivers on roadways leading up to Independence Day, which will affect travel times and require drivers to be more cautious as they move toward their destinations.

Friday is expected to be the busiest travel day. AAA spokesperson Kara Hitchens says it will be best to hit the road early to avoid traffic. She says on Friday and Saturday drivers should plan to leave home before 10 a.m. in order to dodge the extra cars predicted to flood highways by the afternoon and early evening.

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Sunday and Monday are projected to have minimal traffic compared to the rest of the weekend.

Hitchens says high gas prices last summer discouraged many people from driving, but that's not the case this holiday weekend.

"People are anxious to get out there," Hitchens said. "The good thing is, gas prices have remained steady and down from last year."

With more cars, comes more traffic and the increased risk of a wreck. To combat this, AAA is advising travelers to plan ahead and leave plenty of time to reach their destinations. AAA also says to keep an eye out for the increased number of first responders along roadways assisting drivers who have been in wrecks or are experiencing issues with their vehicles.

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Air travel is also expected to be busier than it has been in recent years. CVG estimates more than 350,000 passengers will board flights between Thursday and Sunday, July 9. The highest volume of travelers is expected to arrive at the airport on Friday morning.

CVG says Fourth of July travelers should plan to arrive at their ticket counter or security checkpoint at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.