AAA survey predicts heavy road travel for July 4

CINCINNATI - The travel group AAA is expecting an increase in Fourth of July road travel this year that would put the number of commuting Americans at its highest point in a decade.

A survey released Tuesday by AAA predicts about 35.5 million people to hit the highways for Independence Day. The survey cites lower gas prices and the holiday's midweek date as reasons for the increase in predicted road travel.

The prediction is AAA's highest since 2001. About 35.1 million auto travelers were expected on roadways for July 4 in 2002, 2005 and 2007, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The midweek holiday also led AAA to include a sixth day in the travel window because drivers could commute the weekend before or after July 4.

The survey predicts that 42.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles during the holiday period, which is a 4.9 percent increase from 2011. Air travel is predicted to reach 3.2 million flyers, the highest number since 2004.

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