AAA predicts high volume traffic for July 4th weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

AAA predicts high volume traffic for July 4th weekend

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BELLEVUE, Wash., -- AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day holiday, a 4.9 percent increase compared to the 40.3 million people who traveled last year.

The expected 2012 Independence Day holiday travel volume will tie the past decade's previous high mark set in 2007 and represents a near 42 percent increase from 2009. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.

Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday, the calendar will play a role in holiday travel volume as the mid-week holiday expands the traditional travel period to six days and provides the option of including a weekend and two week days on either side of the actual holiday. When asked about day of departure, 54 percent of people intending to travel this holiday plan to begin their trip prior to the start of the work-week that includes July 4.