The Woodward News

Local News

June 27, 2013

Travel may be down for holiday

Woodward, Okla. — Although slightly fewer Oklahomans are expected to travel for the 4th of July holiday this year, AAA Oklahoma says highways will still be busy.

According to a press release, AAA predicts a total of 538,600 Oklahomans will travel for Independence Day, which represents a drop of 0.9 percent from July 4, 2012.

Of those travelers, 464,200 are expected to go by car, 65,750 will fly and the remainder will go by other modes, such as bus or train.

Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma, said that the dip in overall travelers is "probably due to the timing of the holiday, more than anything else, with it being on a Thursday."

"Last year the 4th was on a Wednesday, so people could take a nice 5-day weekend, either with the 4th at the end or the beginning.  But with the holiday being on Thursday this year, it only makes for a 4-day weekend, so we think that's what caused the numbers to dip slightly," Mai said.

However, with less than a 1 percent decrease, he said there will still be plenty travelers on the road.

"The busiest days according to our survey will be Wednesday, July 3, the day before the holiday, followed by Sunday, July 7, which is the most popular return date with holiday travelers.  In our survey, 37 percent of people said they plan to return on that day,"  Mai said.

Since that means there will be a lot of traffic on the highways those days, he suggested to "try to plan your travel to avoid those days so you will find less congestion on the roads and have a safer trip."

"Safety is always something we like to touch on when we're talking about holiday travel," Mai said.  "So we want to encourage people to drive refreshed, limit distractions in the vehicle and, of course, buckle up."

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