CINCINNATI, Oh. –As millions prepare to travel to celebrate the nation’s birth, AAA is offering this 4th of July travel forecast full of car care, traffic safety and travel tips to ensure a safe and fun holiday.
AAA to the Rescue:
AAA estimates it will come to the rescue of more than 6,000 stranded motorists in the Cincinnati tri-state area during the upcoming Independence Day holiday (defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8).
Since Sunday, July 1, AAA Cincinnati has already responded to nearly 1,500 member requests for assistance for issues related to dead batteries and flat tires. AAA’s mobile battery program offers motorists the flexibility to test and replace a car battery on-site.
“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheated engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “Having a disabled vehicle is a stressful and dangerous situation, which is why AAA urges drivers to stock an emergency kit, have their battery tested and inspect tires to make certain their cars are in road-ready condition.”
AAA offers the following tips to help avoid common roadside problems:
- Schedule a checkup. Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. AAA’s Mobile Battery Service offers free battery testing for AAA members.
- Pack an emergency kit. Every vehicle should be equipped with a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables and emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, extra snacks and food for travelers and pets.
- Prevent lockouts. Always take keys when exiting the car and bring a spare car key on every trip. Avoid exposing keyless-entry remote or smart keys to water and always replace the key or fob battery when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
- Check the status of your AAA membership: Make sure the membership is up to date and review coverage level options to ensure lifestyle needs are met in case of a roadside emergency. Drivers should also program 1-800-AAA-HELP in their phones. For special offers on new AAA Memberships, use the promo code: "SAFETYNEW" - for current members renewing, use the promo code: "SAFETY."
Buckle up, obey the speed limit and drive sober is the name of the game this holiday travel season.
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation:
- As of this week, Ohio has recorded 512 traffic deaths in 2018 compared to 509 this time last year. Traffic deaths in Ohio are now almost 1% higher than 2017.
- So far this year, speed-related deaths are running higher than last year. In 2017, about 29% of all traffic deaths in Ohio were speed related, which has risen to about 35% this year.
- In addition, there were more than 1,200 crashes on Ohio roads during the 2017 Fourth of July travel period, with seven deaths and more than 480 injuries.
“It is important for motorists to stay alert and obey the speed limit while traveling over the Independence Day holiday,” continues Moore. “Motorists are also encouraged to drive sober as drunk driving can not only cause fatalities, but also jail time and loss of their license, thousands of dollars in attorney fees, fines, car towing, repairs, higher insurance rates, and lost time at work.”
TRAVEL & GAS PRICES
- More than two million Ohioans will travel by car, air or other modes of transportation to Independence Day destinations despite higher gas prices this year.
- Of the two million Ohioans traveling this holiday season, nearly 1.8 will travel by car.
- Tuesday, July 3 is the worst day to travel for the holiday as commuters traveling home from work mix with travelers leaving for the holiday.
- At $2.86, national gas prices are at their highest point for an Independence Day holiday in four years.
- The current average price of gas in Ohio is $2.77, 68-cents higher than this time last year.
Historical Outlook of Ohio Average Gas Prices for July 4, 2014 – 2018
*Note: Average price is for unleaded gas
AAA also recommends these 10 tips for making Independence Day road trips safer and more hassle-free:
- With busier roads during the holiday weekend, obey posted speed limits. Speed limits are based on safe driving in optimal conditions. Slow down if weather conditions or traffic congestion warrant it.
- Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Be extra vigilant and leave extra space for motorcycles.
- Have everyone in your vehicle wear their seat belts at all times.
- Avoid distractions while driving. Don’t use your cell phone while you’re behind the wheel. If needed, let a passenger respond to a message or look something up on your phone.
- Observe the Move Over Law when law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. Change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
- If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.
- Remember—buzzed driving is drunk driving; never drink and drive. Plan ahead and have a designated driver or organize a ride if you’ll be consuming alcohol.
- For help in planning your road trip, for discounts with many travel partners such as hotels and Hertz rental cars, and for the peace-of-mind provided by AAA emergency roadside assistance should a breakdown occur, making sure your membership is active or joining AAA is important and as simple as going to www.AAA.com.
- Find daily gas price updates for every state in America and key metro areas using AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report at GasPrices.AAA.com or via the AAA mobile app.
- Pack your patience, have a safe trip and enjoy the holiday.
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.