OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Fourth of July weekend to break records

Jun 29, 2023, 4:00 PM

Traffic moves along I-15 during rush hour in Salt Lake City. Rollover crash sends one to the hospit...

FILE: Traffic moves along I-15 during rush hour in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 1, 2022. Record traveling could be happening next week. Here in Utah, one of the busiest days to drive will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Triple-A expects record-breaking travel over the Fourth of July weekend. What can Utah travelers do to make their drive a pleasant one?  

Experts anticipate that 50 million Americans are heading out of town during this year’s Fourth of July weekend, setting a new record. By comparison, the previous record, held by 2019, will be broken by about 2 million people — about ten times the population of Salt Lake City.

Triple-A Spokesperson Julian Paredes said that most travelers will drive, which means a lot of roadside service calls. 

“There’s going to be a lot of people breaking down, car batteries are especially prone to failing during very hot weather, so a little bit of maintenance can really save you a lot of time and money.” 

The amount of roadside assistance calls expected nationwide are around 400,000. The best thing drivers can do is top off coolant, transmission, power steering and windshield wiper fluids.

Fourth of July weekend travel begins on the last day of June. 

Good news for Fourth of July weekend drivers

According to Paredes, the busiest travel times will be between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. So, travelers wanting to miss the rush should try to travel outside of those hours. 

Other good news for Utah drivers: the average cost of regular unleaded gas in the state has finally dropped below $4 a gallon. 

Related: Zion National Park plans for busy 4th of July weekend

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Fourth of July weekend to break records