Record-breaking number of people planning to travel for Independence Day

Posted: 8:16 PM, Jul 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-02 21:16:19-04

A record-breaking, 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, according to AAA. 

In Wisconsin, 900,000 people are expected to travel, that’s up from six percent from last year according to Mark Kantola, Regional Communications Manager for the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation

People will be getting to their destinations by car, plane, train and water. 

According to AAA, because the holiday falls on a Wednesday, the Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8. 

However, Tuesday is expected to be the busiest day for travel and it's not just those celebrating the holiday. 

“Since it's in the middle of the week, those cars are going to mix with commuter traffic on Tuesday, so you could see a lot of traffic trouble spots,” said Kantola. “Obviously with people trying to come home from work, and then people leaving early for the 4th of July, that's when you get the most congestion on the road.”

Because of the expected congestion, the Wisconsin DOT said most work on highway construction projects will be suspended starting Tuesday at noon and going through Thursday. 

“So we're just telling drivers, if you can leave early, if you are a commuter, maybe think about taking another route home, maybe a local street, trying to stay somewhere off the highway and interstate system because again, especially in metro areas there's going to be a lot of traffic on the roads on Tuesday night,” said Kantola. 

Here are more tips from the Wisconsin DOT:

-Before heading out, check the 511 travel information system for the latest on traffic incidents and delays. 

 -Posted speed limits apply to ideal travel conditions. 

-Except for emergencies, it is illegal in Wisconsin for drivers to use a handheld mobile device in work zones. Texting while driving is prohibited at all times.

-The state’s Move Over law requires drivers to slow down or shift lanes when coming upon emergency response vehicles stopped along a roadway with warning lights flashing. This includes police and fire vehicles, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles.

 -Stopping along a highway and getting out of your vehicle can be dangerous, increasing the chances of being struck by another vehicle. If you become stranded, it’s generally safest to stay buckled up inside your vehicle and call for help.