Record Breaking Number of Travelers Hit the Road in Virginia for the 4th

July Fourth travel by US Army
Photo copyright U.S. Army

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 28, 2018) – More Virginians will be traveling over the 4th of July holiday this year than any year on record. AAA projects over 1.2 million people in the Commonwealth will be enjoying the 4th of July holiday away from home, with 1.1 million of them traveling by automobile. For those planning a road trip, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long as than the normal trip, with Tuesday July 3rd, being the busiest day.


In addition to strong economic variables, the expected increase in travelers this year is helped by Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday. The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.


Virginia’s By the Numbers 2018 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast


  • < > AAA projects 1.1 million Virginians will be taking to the road this year with a 5.7 percent increase from last year. 

    Planes: Those traveling by air in the Commonwealth will be almost 100,000, a 7 percent increase overall from 2017.

  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: AAA is anticipating about 72,000 Virginians to travel by other modes, a 5.6 percent increase from the year before.


Gas Prices Starting to Stabilize Heading into Independence Day

Gas prices have slowly but steadily started to fall since the 2018 high of $2.97 set over Memorial Day weekend. Since then, the Virginia gas price has dropped steadily. However, the higher prices are having little effect on travelers this Independence Day, with record number of travelers still planning to hit the road this year.


Gas Prices as of June 28, 2018




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“With so many people taking to the roads, we would like to take a moment to remind everyone to drive safely. Drive distraction free. Too many people are injured or killed every year because of distracted driving. You wouldn’t drive intoxicated. Please don’t drive intexticated. Arrive to your destination safe.” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia.


Distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures 1,000 each day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is the third leading driver-related cause of crash fatalities behind speeding and driving under the influence.


AAA’s Safety Tips for Drivers:


  • Don’t drive distracted. Preset your GPS and put your cellphone down.
  • If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.

  • Keep your doors locked, safety belts buckled and children safe and secure in properly installed safety seats.
  • Plan ahead and take frequent breaks to avoid drowsy driving
  • When stopping for breaks, never let kids go to the restroom alone. Always lock vehicle doors.
  • If stopping during night-time travel, choose a well-lighted, populated facility. Park where your vehicle can be seen.
  • Pack a flashlight, water, blanket and first-aid kit as well as emergency flares or reflective triangles should you break down.


AAA to Rescue More Than 3,000 Motorists

AAA expects to rescue more than 3,000 motorists at the roadside around the Independence Day holiday in the Tidewater region. Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown.


AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2018 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.


As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at or Facebook at

CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Tidewater Automobile Association of Virginia, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Tidewater Virginia is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the Tidewater Virginia region (All Hampton Roads cities, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg; Virginia's Eastern Shore; as well as the following counties: Greensville, Surry, Brunswick, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond County, Southampton, Sussex, Mecklenburg, James City County, York, Lunenburg, Essex, King & Queen, Mathews, Northumberland, and Westmoreland).