DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — As people prepare to celebrate one of this year’s biggest holidays, AAA is expecting a busy weekend on the roads—even amid a global pandemic.
The prediction comes even as AAA expects a decrease in the number of people travelling compared to previous years.
“About a 15% decrease which sounds like a lot, and it really kind of is a lot, but under the circumstances it’s really less of a decrease than a lot of people expected,” said Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama Public Relations and Marketing Manager. “There’s still going to be a lot of people out there. A lot of folks heading to outdoor, open air type destinations like the beach or some of the lakes or state parks, national parks. Places like that where they can kind of be outside and have a little room and maintain those social distancing guidelines that we’ve all been doing these last few months in trying to stay safe.”
According to Ingram, Alabama residents should expect to see heavy traffic on the road.
“With the fourth falling on a Saturday, that’s going to lend itself to being really busy, even if it’s just people driving 15, 20 minutes to a friend’s house or a relative’s house,” Ingram said. “They’re still going to be on the road for a little while and there are going to be a lot of people in that category.”
Ingram also told WDHN traffic will probably start increasing on Friday, July 3.
“I think the busiest day will likely be Saturday,” Ingram said. “But a lot of businesses, a lot of companies are closed for the Fourth of July holiday on Friday and so it gives everybody a three day weekend. So we’ll see the rush begin probably sometime Friday morning.”
On the bright side, July 4th gas prices are lower than they have been in nearly a decade.
“Our state average is $1.88 per gallon here in Alabama,” Ingram said. “That’s probably about 40 cents a gallon less than it was this time last year. It’s the lowest Fourth of July gas prices we’ve seen in probably 15-20 years here in Alabama. That’s a good thing for anybody that is getting out and about, but we’re still going to see some people who aren’t comfortable with mixing and mingling with other people just yet, and understandably so. There won’t be as many people taking advantage of those lower gas prices as there have been in years past.”