June 29, 2010
AAA Mid-Atlantic today projects the number of Virginians traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend will increase 19.3 percent from 2009, with close to 970,650 Virginians taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home.
National travel numbers are also expected to rise as approximately 34.9 million Americans will travel for the holiday, an increase of 17.1 percent from 2009. The 2010 Fourth of July holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, July 1, to Monday, July 5.
“While financial markets continue to have volatility related to the European debt crisis, the landscape of the U.S. economy is in a much different place than it was one year ago,” said Martha M. Meade, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It is encouraging to see such growth this summer as Americans take to the road to visit family, friends and great vacation destinations.”
The price tag for this year’s journey is expected to be down. Median spending is estimated to be $644 this Fourth of July, nearly $50 less than last year. This is in spite of the fact that overall costs are up as more budget-conscious travelers are returning to the “pool” of travelers.
Last year over the July 4 holiday in Virginia, nine people died in traffic crashes during the three-day statistical counting period. State police investigated a total of 563 traffic crashes and assisted 2,313 motorists alongside Virginia’s highways during the 2009 holiday weekend.
To decrease the likelihood of break down, AAA recommends motorists have their vehicle serviced regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and identify a quality repair shop.