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Travelers return home from busy holiday weekend

The American Automobile Association (AAA) reported more than 47.7 million Americans were expected to travel during the Fourth of July Weekend.
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 8:23 PM CDT
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BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) - As pandemic restrictions ease, drivers flooded the roads as they returned from a busy holiday weekend.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) reported more than 47.7 million Americans were expected to travel during the Fourth of July Weekend, which would be 40% higher than the 2020 record set last year. In addition, 43.6 million traveled by car. This number is two million more than the record set before the pandemic despite an increase in gas prices. The AAA’s estimate of 43.6 million is about nine million more than the estimate for Memorial Day.

“There’s a lot more traffic out today, but then I got started very early which it was really slow this morning but now it’s really picking up,” said Truck Driver Sherry Terry.

Terry said she felt at a disadvantage when on the road because the semi truck she drove doesn’t exceed 65 miles per hour. One reason is that they are top heavy and it’s harder for a semi to stop compared to a smaller vehicle. Terry misses when it was easier to navigate the bigger cities.

“Before it was a breeze to get through Chicago and now it’s I’m afraid you’re going to get run over,” said Terry.

Zeno Min was on his way from Indiana to Minnesota to visit his aunt for the first time in six years. Despite an increase in traffic, he didn’t seem impacted too much by more vehicles on the highway.

“It was pretty good. I noticed that the tolls were closed, but other than that it was pretty smooth, I did see a bit more traffic than I was expecting to but it was not bad at all,” said Min.

The AAA also reported that air travel was expected to reach 3.5 million flyers, a 164% increase from 2020. Its estimated total is 90% of the number of Americans who traveled before the pandemic and one million more than the projected total for this past Memorial Day.

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