Local News

Travelers Hit Roads, Skies For Holiday Weekend

Posted July 3, 2005 10:38 a.m. EDT

— An estimated 40 million people are expected to leave home for the Fourth of July holiday, and about 80 percent of those will be traveling by roads.

Troopers Targeting Five Areas This Holiday Weekend

Triangle Traffic Cameras

Full Fourth Of July Coverage

Fortunately so far, all those cars haven't led to any major backups in the Triangle area. But, drivers can expect more company on the roads as the Fourth of July gets closer.

Last year, eight people died in North Carolina during the Fourth of July weekend as a result of car accidents. Troopers have increased their patrol this weekend in an effort to keep the highways safe.

Even the gas prices, hovering around $2.13 a gallon, does not appear to be enough to keep people at home.

Travelers are simply finding more ways to be fuel-efficient.

"We've been watching the pump prices," traveler Victoria Beck said. "We've been trying not to use air conditioning a lot. Normally I'd be blasting the air, but my friend keeps shutting it off."

Prices at the pump aren't the only things on the rise.

AAA reported that car rental rates have gone up almost 13 percent. A private travel analyst also said hotel room rates have gone up 5 percent over the past year.

Travelers taking to the skies also can expect plenty of company and higher rates this holiday weekend.

A spokesperson with the Raleigh-Durham International Airport said traffic was up 12 percent this year for the Fourth of July weekend.

An estimated 16,000 people were expected to leave the airport on Saturday, the spokesperson said.

Nearly every flight was full, even though it has cost travelers an average $10 more to travel this year than last year, industry analysts said.