CA July 4 traffic: AAA predicts record-breaking travel in the US

Fireworks commemorate the Fourth of July holiday celebrations near the ziggurat office building in West Sacramento on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Most fireworks displays have been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fireworks commemorate the Fourth of July holiday celebrations near the ziggurat office building in West Sacramento on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Most fireworks displays have been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This Fourth of July might be more than just any ordinary holiday. It could be record-breaking.

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More than 5.6 million Californian residents are expected to travel this weekend, according to a recent AAA news release.

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Since gas prices remain significantly lower compared to last year, AAA anticipates that this holiday will set new records for both road and air travel.

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Here’s what you can expect:

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Why are more people traveling this year?

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John Treanor, a AAA spokesperson, said the company usually puts out travel forecasts for Fourth of July and Memorial Day, which are the busiest travel weekends of the summer.

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Last year, Treanor said AAA saw high travel numbers, because the state was coming out of pandemic restrictions.

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“This post-pandemic hunger is fueling people with this rush to travel,” Treanor said.

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What should you know before hitting the road?

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Treanor said California residents should look out for traffic hotspots, including Disneyland, Lake Tahoe and the Bay Area.

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“The busiest times on the roadways are going to be between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday. That’s going to be the busiest travel day,” Treanor said.

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Instead of leaving early from work or after work, Treanor said people should leave early Saturday to avoid traffic.

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If you do happen to encounter traffic, Treanor said to try and avoid exploring new routes. Stay on a familiar route to avoid getting lost.

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“What we really recommend though is getting your car inspected ahead of time,” Treanor said. “There are going to be close to 400,000 travelers requesting roadside assistance this weekend.”

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Angela Rodriguez is a service journalism reporter for The Sacramento Bee. She recently graduated from Sacramento State with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. During her time there, she worked on the State Hornet covering arts and entertainment.

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