Hitting the Road for 4th of July? Here’s When to Expect the Most Traffic – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

According to a recent study, almost record-breaking traffic is expected for the upcoming holiday weekend on July 4th.

According to the AAA, 2021 will be the second highest recorded travel event on Independence Day, with 47.7 million Americans taking to the streets. That’s a 40% increase compared to July 4, 2020 – which happened amid the pandemic.

The vast majority of Independence Day trips – 91% – will be by car, according to the AAA.

“Travel is in full swing this summer as Americans eagerly seek out travel opportunities they’ve put off for the past year and a half,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the start of summer, and all signs are now pointing to a busy Independence Day to come.”

Daniel Armbruster, spokesman for AAA Texas, said the July 4th travel volume in the state is expected to surpass previous levels.

Between Thursday and Monday, AAA Texas expects 3.3 million people to drive to their destination, 10% more than the previous record of 2019 and 40% more than 2020.

“Of course we expect busy roads, especially on Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon,” he said.

The AAA study found the best and worst times to travel:

date Worst time Best time
Thursday 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. After 7 p.m.
Friday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Before 12 o’clock
Saturday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. After 2 p.m.
Sunday Free flow expected
Monday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Before 1 p.m.

Source: INRIX / AAA

Nationwide, an additional 620,000 Americans are expected to travel by means other than cars on Independence Day, an increase of over 72% from last year. These travelers will use trains, buses, and even boats as cruise lines announce limited return journeys from US ports.

In addition to a higher flow of traffic, travelers can also expect higher prices this week. In some parts of the country, gas prices remain above $ 3 a gallon.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, gasoline prices averaged $ 2.81 last week, up 90 cents from what travelers paid last year, Armbruster said.

That won’t stop many people from traveling or renting cars as car rentals are up 86% this year compared to last year.

“A lot of people have been locked at home for more than a year now, ready to go out and explore. That is one of the main reasons we see such demand for travel,” said Armbruster.

Hotels are also seeing a mean increase of 32-35% on this vacation.

The study also reports the highest expected traffic and times on U.S. highways, with a Texas city on the list:

Subway area gear Tip jam % above normal
Atlanta I-75 N, Jodeco Road to Jenkinsburg Road Friday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 50%
Boston I-95 S, MA-10 to Sanford Road Monday, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. 330%
Chicago I-90 E, W Roosevelt Road to I-294 Friday, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 50%
Detroit I-75 N, 12 Mile Road to Oakland Street Friday, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 50%
Houston I-10 W, Bernardo Road to Pin Oak Road Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 50%
The angel I-405 N, I-5 to Jefferson Blvd Friday, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. 10%
new York I-278 E, Bronx River to Williamsburg St Thursday, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. 30%
San Francisco CA-17 N, Lark Ave to Mt. Hermon Road Monday, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 340%
Seattle I-5 S, Capitol Blvd (Olympia) to JBLM Friday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 20%
Washington, DC I-95 S, Route 3 to Dumfries Road Thursday, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 30%

Source: INRIX

INRIX, working with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the worst of traffic jams on the holiday weekend as commuters leave work earlier and mingle with vacationers along with the return trip on Monday lunchtime.

In major subway areas in the US, delays could be nearly double compared to typical travel times, with drivers in Boston and San Francisco likely to experience almost three times as long delays.

Armbruster said the increase in travel is likely to continue beyond the Independence Day travel period.

“This is some momentum that we’ve been seeing since March, and we expect this kind of pattern to continue through the summer and into 2022,” he said.

A few more tips from AAA:

  • It is important to keep in mind that some local and state travel restrictions may still apply.
  • Before hitting the road, AAA reminds motorists to plan their route in advance and make sure their vehicle is ready to avoid breakdowns along the way.