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More drivers on the road this 4th of July weekend, gas prices down

More drivers on the road this 4th of July weekend, gas prices down. (Shardaa Gray/KOKH)

The kickoff for the 4th of July travel weekend is here.

What brings in fireworks, parades and beaches? Traffic. So when is a good time to hit the roads? AAA tells FOX 25 Saturday is the best time. If you haven't left already, expect more people on the road and a plunge at the pump.

“The highways are hot, airports are congested. This is going to be a record-breaking Fourth of July in terms of number of travelers around the country and here in Oklahoma,” said Oklahoma City AAA spokesperson, Chuck Mai.

Mai estimates 44.2 million drivers across the country and 571,000 Oklahomans will travel this weekend. And he said those numbers have increased since last year.

“Last year we were about 481,000,” Mai said. “So it's about a three percent increase from last year total number of travelers. Air travel is up by about six percent though. Really surprising.”

According to AAA survey, air fares are lower, causing people to fly more. And gas prices could be the reason more people are hitting the streets.

“We're about $1.96 right now statewide average for regular self-serve gasoline. That's the third lowest in the country only three states have the gas price average below $2 a gallon. And we're one of them,” said Mai.

If you're traveling north, west, northeast or northwest, AAA said you'll possibly pay more at the pump. But as a reminder, driver defensively.

“Take your time. Allow more time to get there. Build in an hour or two extra because you'll know delays are going to happen. There will be congestion, there will be work slowdowns or whatever,” said Mai.

And remember, patience is key.

You'll also want to plan ahead when coming back from your 4th of July vacation. AAA officials recommend to leave around Wednesday afternoon, saying people normally leave after the fireworks are done or they'll leave Wednesday morning.

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