4th of July weekend: Don’t sit bumper-to-bumper in Austin by avoiding these times

Cars sit bumper-to-bumper on a major highway

File photo of cars sitting in traffic (Getty Images).

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin drivers could spend extra time on the road this weekend. The American Automobile Association (AAA) expects a potentially record-shattering 3.3 million Texans will get behind the wheel between Thursday through Monday to arrive at their Independence Day destinations.

That’s a 10% increase from travel on the road in 2019, according to AAA’s report.

How to avoid it

Daniel Armbruster, a spokesperson for AAA Texas, said because of that uptick in travel, especially in major cities like Austin, you’re going to need to be strategic to avoid traffic.

“If you’re in a big city like Austin, and you want to avoid the peak travel times, definitely avoid Friday afternoon and Friday evening especially on major arteries like I-35,” Armbruster said.

According to INRIX, a company that analyzes data, the worst times to drive during the holiday weekend are as follows:

  • Friday: 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday: Less commuter traffic all day, with the exception of streets around large local events
  • Monday: 4 to 5 p.m.

It pays to park

A driver pulls a gas pump from their car after filling up
A gasoline station attendant pumps diesel into a car at a filling station on March 23, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Not only does the report by AAA show the number of travelers will be higher, but costs will be too. Because of the record number of travelers expected in Texas, AAA expects gas prices to hit a rate they haven’t hit since June 2018.

“Higher gas prices won’t deter road trippers this summer. In fact, we’re expecting record-breaking levels of car travel this July Fourth,” said Armbruster. “Though prices are around $1 more per gallon compared to this same time last year, travelers are likely to look for more free activities or eat out less, but still take their vacations as planned.”

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