Tips to prepare yourself for 4th of July travel

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - According to officials we’re in the height of the busiest travel days for the 4th of July holiday. AAA reports nearly 200 thousand West Virginians plan some travel to celebrate Independence Day. Virginians will be doing the same. All will encounter the inevitable, like traffic congestion and the prices at the pump. There are things drivers can control starting with vehicle maintenance and navigation.

“If your route can avoid some of these major metro areas those are going to end up being more congested because of course there’s already the population being higher in those areas. So natural commuters and that sort of thing will keep that traffic high and now we’re adding to it,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, the Public Affairs Manager for AAA Bluegrass.

Leaders with the West Virginia Turnpike say they’re expecting about 175 thousand drivers daily, adding they’re ready for the surge in traffic flow, but they suggest drivers take an extra measure of patience when they pack. In Virginia those officials say it’s crucial to check 511 for updates.

“There’s always the potential for a crash or something out there or some debris in the roadway that tunnel staff will have to stop traffic to go get the debris out of the roadway. So it’s always beneficial to check 511 before traveling to see if there are any tie ups,” said Communications Manager for VDOT Bristol, Michelle Earl.

“Of course we have our courtesy patrol out 24/7. West Virginia State Police Troop 7 will be out in full force as well to assist motorists if needed. We’ll have extra staff at the booths and we’ll also have flaggers as you approach the toll booths,” said Jeff Miller, the Executive Director for the West Virginia Parkways Authority.

We spoke with some travelers to check on their road trips so far.

“Most of the way has been pretty good. The traveling miles per hour has been about 60 to 70 miles per hour which is pretty decent considering how much traffic is traveling this weekend,” said Tony Manuel from New Mexico.

“North Carolina drivers are crazy. Four lanes across from this lane. But other than that it’s actually been a pretty smooth ride,” said Frances Cornman from Pennsylvania.

Both traffic officials and travelers alike both agree that it’s important to not only drive safe but to also be patient while traveling for the 4th.

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