• ETC
  • Jul 2, 2014
Planning a road trip over the Independence Day weekend? After reading this, you may want to just stay home. Experts say drivers will endure heavy traffic, high gas prices and high numbers of traffic fatalities on the nation's roadways throughout the July 4 weekend.

Motorists will pay the most expensive Independence Day gas prices in six years, primarily because Iraqi violence has increased global petroleum costs in recent weeks, according to AAA. The nation's largest motoring organization expects the national average for gas will range from $3.60 to $3.70 per gallon. Last year, the average was $3.48 over the July 4th weekend.

"It is frustrating that events overseas will make it more expensive to celebrate Fourth of July here at home," said Avery Ash, a spokesperson for AAA, which projects that 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the weekend via automobiles despite the recent rise in prices. That's a 1.9-percent increase from last year's Fourth of July holiday, and a 14-percent spike over Memorial Day.

While the gas prices over the holiday are expected to be the highest since 2008, analysts with the U.S. Energy Information Administration note fuel prices in 2014 stayed below the spring peaks reached over the past three years. They do not believe that gas prices will have a significant impact on the overall number of travelers, but think people may trim their expenses on dining, shopping or other trip activities.

Lots of motorists combined with lots of barbecuing and celebrating also mean a higher number of drunk drivers. Historically, a higher proportion of crash deaths on July 4 have involved alcohol than compared to typical summer days, said Russ Rader, a spokesperson with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Alcohol has played a role in making Independence Day the single deadliest day on American roads in recent years. On the five July 4ths between 2008 and 2012, 637 Americans were killed on US roads, according to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. That's an average of 127.4 people killed every year on the holiday.

The second-deadliest day on US roads has been New Year's Day, with 612 fatalities during the same five-year timespan.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      magman
      • 5 Months Ago
      As far as gas prices go I've read that it's not the actual violence in the Middle East that's driving up prices as it the speculators on the markets who are driving oil prices up.
      magman
      • 5 Months Ago
      From what I understand it's less about the actual violence in Irag and the middle east than speculators in the markets who end up driving up oil prices.
      carguy1701
      • 5 Months Ago
      It sucks for Illinois. In the southwest Chicagoland suburbs where I hang my hat, gas prices have been falling, but I guarantee they'll spike back up to around $4.00/gallon on the 3rd or the 4th. Same thing happened on Memorial Day. Gonna make going to a con expensive. Of course, we still pay less than Europe.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 5 Months Ago
      Do you now who has 2 thumbs, a salt-water swimming pool and is not driving anywhere on independence day? <-----This guy
      razorpit
      • 5 Months Ago
      "Motorists will pay the most expensive Independence Day gas prices in six years..." So do we get to blame President Obama and his friends in "Big Oil"?
        Larry Litmanen
        • 5 Months Ago
        @razorpit
        0bama is blameless (bismellah) and you are a racist.
        marv.shocker
        • 5 Months Ago
        @razorpit
        That's funny, dude. George W Bush is from Texas…process that for a minute. And if you knew anything about oil companies (which you don't), you would understand that they are legally obligated to make profit for their shareholders. The president can't do anything about that anymore than he can tell GM, Ford or Chrysler what to sell their vehicles for.
          carguy1701
          • 5 Months Ago
          @marv.shocker
          I do believe he was being sarcastic.
      Ryan
      • 5 Months Ago
      What if we built an oil pipeline connecting Canada's Tar Sands to US refineries? Or does that just make too much sense. Seems that relying less on oil supplied by governments in volatile countries would be a good idea right?
      Technoir
      • 5 Months Ago
      On July 4, billions of oil dollars will flow to Saudi Arabia thanks to the U.S.' insane addiction to oil.
      marv.shocker
      • 5 Months Ago
      Wow! Holiday weekends are the worst time to drive? Whoda thunk it?
      Cursethedawn
      • 5 Months Ago
      And a big Ol' Hummer H2 right there in the center of the pic.
      • 5 Months Ago
      autonomous cars will be able to let you eat, drink, cop-u-late, all in available-windowLESS vehicles oblivious to the idiots around you. So, enjoy.
      Autoblogist
      • 5 Months Ago
      No, sh*t Did you guys know water was wet?
      Nine Elements
      • 5 Months Ago
      Ha! I wish petrol averaged $3.60~3.70/gallon here in California right now.
        PatrickH
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Nine Elements
        You guys should try putting your foot down to the tax happy state government then. Sorry to be blunt.
    • Load More Comments