About 3.1 million Mountain West residents plan to hit the road during the week of July Fourth — a 4.8 percent increase over last year, and the highest number of travelers for the Fourth in the past five years.
That’s according to a survey by the AAA travel services company. It says numbers are up in part because the July Fourth holiday is in the middle of the week, and more than half of the people surveyed said they intend to begin their trips on Friday. The longer-than-normal holiday of six days allows for more trips and travelers.
"As summer begins, so does the appetite for travel," AAA Utah spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough said. "The determination to travel while economizing has been the common trend over the past several years. Lower gas prices are also spurring more people to travel."
Nationally, AAA forecasts that 42 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday week, a 4.9 percent increase over last year.
AAA’s survey said a Mountain West family of four is expected to spend an average of $648 in travel during the week, while the average road trip will cover 826 miles.
Meanwhile, the Allstate Insurance Company notes that a new analysis of crash data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that July Fourth is the deadliest day for teens on the roadway. It urges extra safety for them during the holiday, including avoiding speeding and distractions.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.