Fourth of July motorists should expect busy roads, low gas prices, and stormy weather

Historically low gas prices and a record-high number of motorists might make deciding on that Fourth of July road trip a little more difficult this year.

Motorists should expect the roads to be more crowded than ever on two of the deadliest driving days of the year – July 3rd and 4th – as AAA anticipates a record-breaking 37.5 million Americans will hit the road for Independence Day, according to a news release.

A recent Michelin survey found that most drivers believe that fewer accidents happen in summer in comparison to other times of the year, despite summer to being the “statistically most dangerous” season to drive. The survey finds that drivers are three times less likely to be vigilant during the summer months compared to winter.

A combination of “long days, warm weather and better driving conditions may lull summer drivers into a false sense of safety,” the release said.

On the bright side, motorists can expect the lowest average Independence Day gas prices since 2005, according to a news release by GasBuddy.

Drivers can expect to pay $2.21 per gallon, or nearly a dollar less than the 10-year average of $3.14 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

“It’s thrilling to see gas prices falling just in time for the most-traveled summer holiday. Perhaps we can finally get rid of the myth that gas prices go up for the holiday,” GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said in the release. “Most importantly, motorists are getting a well-deserved break at the pump after years of high summer gas prices. This is like Christmas in July, instead of seeing fireworks at the pumps like we saw just a few short years ago.”

GasBuddy warns that despite the historic lows, there’s still a chance that consumers will overpay at the pump due to the price variance, which will be at a historic high. The price variance between the nation’s highest and lowest priced stations stands at $1.29 per gallon.

Motorists should expect rainy, stormy weather throughout the weekend and on Independence Day.

The National Weather Service Detroit/Pontiac office forecasts likely showers and thunderstorms on Friday, with a chance of it lasting until the holiday on Tuesday.

Despite the rain, the Fourth of July in the Detroit area should be quite warm, with partly sunny skies and a high of 81, according to the National Weather Service.

AccuWeather reports that steamy air near the Gulf of Mexico coast will spread northward into the weekend.

"People in much of the East will be turning up their air conditioners and fans to help cope with the return of the steamy air following cool and refreshing conditions of late," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said in a statement.

Several local municipalities have canceled their firework displays this year, including Beverly Hills, Birmingham, and Plymouth Township, but there are still plenty of options to catch a show.

Among the several events in the metro Detroit area celebrating the Fourth of July are: Greenfield Village’s Salute to America Fireworks (June 30-July 3); the Memorial Park Fireworks in St. Clair Shores and Hazel Park Raceway Fireworks (June 30); Big Bang Fireworks in Waterford (July 1); Stars and Stripes Festival Fireworks in Novi (July 2); and Independence Fest 2017 Fireworks in Clarkson, Clawson 4th of July Fireworks, Trenton Independence Day Fireworks, and Holly Fireworks (July 4).

© Detroit Free Press


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