Auto Insurance Provider Forecasts Decline in July Fourth Travel

AAA released a report this week saying that it is estimating 32.8 million drivers will be hitting the road for a trip of 50 miles or more this holiday weekend, which represents a 2.7 percent decline from the 33.7 million that did so last year.

According to the report, which was assembled by the auto insurance company in collaboration with IHS Global Insight, “travelers are dealing with a 37 percent hike in fuel costs since last year that are outweighing some of the benefits of convenience and flexibility that automobile travel provides.”

As a result, a growing portion of vacationers are staying home or opting for air travel. The number using air travel to reach their destinations during the Independence Day weekend is expected to grow by 9 percent compared to last year. The number of air travelers, however, is much smaller than those who drive.

“The number of air travelers is expected by just over 3 million,” for the 2011 Fourth of July weekend, according to the report.

But despite the forecast decline, the total number of road-trippers remains healthy.

Fatality v Driver Counts July 4The number of holiday drivers that the insurance provider expects this year is in fact about equal to the average annual volume of July Fourth road-trippers for 2001–2010, and is a 23 percent increase from 2009.

With the increased number of people driving more miles this weekend, the chances of a traffic accident may be heightened, and motorists have been urged to use caution.

The Fourth of July has historically been one of the deadliest holiday periods of the year for drivers. In 2009, 410 people were killed in traffic accidents during the three-day July Fourth holiday period, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That was the second highest per-day fatality count for a holiday period that year. The Memorial Holiday had the highest count that year, with 473 traffic fatalities during the three-day holiday period.

Despite campaigns against drinking and driving launched by the government, auto insurance companies and other groups, a large percentage of these deaths still involve drinking before getting behind the wheel. In 2008, two out of five traffic fatalities during the July Fourth holiday involved alcohol-impaired driving.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

No comments yet.

Comment on this article