CINCINNATI, Oh. – More than two million Ohioans will travel by car, air or other modes of transportation to Independence Day destinations despite higher gas prices this year, according to AAA. This is the highest on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel 18 years ago. The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.
“A strong economy and Independence Day falling in the middle of the week, offering more travel flexibility for families to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday are factors contributing to the increase in travel to celebrate the nation’s birth this year,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman.
AAA provides this snapshot – by the numbers – of some of AAA’s key travel forecast projections and latest gas prices, and offers car maintenance tips and road trip recommendations for the Independence Day holiday travel period:
Independence Day Travel and Gas Prices by the Numbers
Ohio Independence Day Travel Projections
2, 019, 748 – Number of Ohioans traveling for Independence Day.
1,780, 991 – Number of Ohioans traveling by car this Independence Day holiday.
87, 981 – Number of Ohioans flying to their Independence Day destination.
150, 776 – Number of Ohioans using other modes of transportation such as buses or taking cruises for the Independence Day holiday.
6,000 – Number of motorists that AAA Cincinnati expects to rescue during the Independence Day travel weekend.
$2.76 – Average Ohio price for a gallon of regular gas as of 6/28/18.
26 – Ohio’s rank of states with the largest yearly increase in gas prices as of 6/28/18. Ohio’s average per-gallon price has risen nearly 59-cents in the past year.
19 – Ohio’s rank of states with the lowest gas prices in America as of 6/28/18.
$2.85 – Average gas price in Cincinnati, OH, the highest in the state as of 6/28/18.
1 – Cincinnati’s rank on the list of highest gas prices for Ohio cities as of 6/28/18.
44646 – Zip code of Canton-Massillon, Ohio, which boasts Ohio’s lowest average gas price this week at $2.65 /gallon.
2014 – Last year that drivers faced Independence Day gas prices as high as this year.
$2.85 – National gas price average as of 6/28/18, three cents higher than one week ago and 60-cents more than a year ago.
Daily gas price updates for every state in America and key metro areas may be found using AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report at GasPrices.AAA.com.
Additional Independence Day Projections
46.9 million – Number of Americans nationwide who will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, a 5 percent increase over last year.
2.38 million – Number of additional people nationwide taking to the roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year.
2000 – 2018 Independence Day holiday travel will be the highest on record, since AAA began tracking holiday travel 18 years ago.
85 – Percent of all travelers nationally – 39.7 million – who are planning an Independence Day driving road trip, an increase of 5.1 percent over last year.
3.8 million – Number of travelers nationwide who will fly to their Independence Day destination. With a 7.9 percent increase over last year, air travel volume will rise for the ninth straight year and will be the highest travel volume on record for this mode of transportation.
362,000 – Number of motorists nationwide that AAA expects to rescue with roadside assistance this Independence Day holiday, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues.
2 – July 2018 date when drivers can expect the greatest amount of traffic congestion, especially in larger metro areas and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and, when commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.
$ 171– Average price for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index – lowest Independence Day airfare in five years, and 9 percent less than last year.
5 – Top 5 domestic destinations for Independence Day 2018, according to AAA.com bookings: Orlando, Florida; Anaheim, California, Seattle, Washington; Anchorage, Alaska; Honolulu, Hawaii.
5 – Top 5 international destinations for Independence Day 2018, according to AAA.com bookings: Rome, Italy; London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Vancouver, Canada; Paris, France.
$66- Average daily cost of a car rental this Independence Day—the average daily cost of a car rental is a slight increase of 2 percent over last year.
Vehicle Maintenance and Emergency Kit Tips
Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons motorists will experience car trouble this holiday weekend.
Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is road-trip ready. Make a good B-E-T to stay on the road this summer by having your Battery tested, looking for Engine coolant leaks and checking Tire condition.
Also make sure windshield wipers, belts and hoses, and lights (headlights, tail lights, turn signals) are in good condition and working properly. Also, keep plenty of gas in your tank to avoid being stranded by running out.
“It’s a good idea to be prepared with an emergency kit in your vehicle,” continued Moore. “It should contain items including mobile phone and car charger, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or reflective triangle, first-aid kit, basic toolkit, extra medications, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers, including your traveling pets.”
10 AAA Road Trip Tips
AAA also recommends these 10 tips for making Independence Day road trips safer and more hassle-free:
- With busier roads during the holiday weekend, obey posted speed limits. Speed limits are based on safe driving in optimal conditions. Slow down if weather conditions or traffic congestion warrant it.
- Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Be extra vigilant and leave extra space for motorcycles.
- Have everyone in your vehicle wear their seat belts at all times.
- Avoid distractions while driving. Don’t use your cell phone while you’re behind the wheel. If needed, let a passenger respond to a message or look something up on your phone.
- Observe the Move Over Law when law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. Change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
- If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.
- Remember—buzzed driving is drunk driving; never drink and drive. Plan ahead and have a designated driver or organize a ride if you’ll be consuming alcohol.
- For help in planning your road trip, for discounts with many travel partners such as hotels and Hertz rental cars, and for the peace-of-mind provided by AAA emergency roadside assistance should a breakdown occur, making sure your membership is active or joining AAA is important and as simple as going to www.AAA.com.
- Find daily gas price updates for every state in America and key metro areas using AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report at GasPrices.AAA.com or via the AAA mobile app.
- Pack your patience, have a safe trip and enjoy the holiday.
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.