HAMILTON, N.J., June 27, 2011 – AAA Mid-Atlantic projects that approximately 1.2 million New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend, a decrease of 3% compared to those that traveled for Independence Day 2010.

Travel by Mode of Transportation:

Automobile

  • New Jersey – 1,032,737 (84% of travelers), virtually unchanged from last year
  • Nationally – 32.8 million (84% of travelers), a 2.8% decrease from 2010.

Air

  • New Jersey – 84,577 (7% of travelers), a decline of 16.7% from those who flew in 2010.
  • Nationally – 3.018 million (8% of travelers), an increase of 9.7% from last Fourth of July.

Train, Bus, Watercraft or Other Mode

  • New Jersey – 105,896 (9% of travelers), a decrease of 17.1% from 2010
  • Nationally – 3.185 million (8% of travelers), a decrease of 9.3% from last year.

“Auto travel continues to be the predominant mode of transportation for Fourth of July weekend,” Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic said. “However, prices that are a dollar higher than this time last year will keep some folks closer to home.”    

Motorists taking to the roadways will find the average price of gasoline at $3.60 per gallon in New Jersey, $3.88 in New York, $3.60 in Pennsylvania, and $3.58 in Delaware.

New Jersey Gas Prices on July 4th for the past 5 years:

  • ·$2.60 in 2010
  • ·$2.52 in 2009
  • ·$3.99 in 2008
  • ·$2.81 in 2007
  • ·$2.96 in 2006

 

AAA also reminds motorists that the Fourth of July holiday is a busy time for emergency roadside services calls. As temperatures rise, vehicles are put to the test. Without preventive maintenance the summer heat increases the likelihood of a motorist experiencing a vehicle failure, leaving them unexpectedly – and dangerously – stranded on the side of the road.

AAA suggests going over the following checklist before starting out on a road trip this summer: 

  • ·Check the battery. Batteries more than two years old should be tested by a qualified technician to ensure they have the starting power to handle the stress of extreme temperatures. 
  • ·Check oil level and condition. Driving under extreme conditions, such as over mountains or towing a heavy trailer? Switch to a motor oil with higher viscosity. Check the owner’s manual for specific oil recommendations. 
  • ·Check air conditioning system performance.
  • ·Inspect antifreeze/coolant level and condition. Ensure the proper 50/50 mixture of water and coolant is present. 

Other under-the-hood components such as belts and hoses also are stressed by extreme heat and should be regularly inspected.  Be sure the vehicle engine is turned off before inspecting these items.  If your car overheats, never attempt to remove the radiator cap until the engine has cooled. Coolant in the radiator is under pressure and can flash into steam, causing severe burns. 

If motorist are not comfortable performing this inspection, a qualified auto service facility, such as those recognized by AAA’s Approved Auto Repair Program, can conduct a thorough examination.

Finally, because temperatures inside parked cars can quickly reach dangerous levels, AAA Mid-Atlantic offers the following additional advice:

  • ·Never leave children or animals unattended in a car—not even for a short period of time. Outside air temperatures in the nineties can rise to 125 degrees inside the vehicle within 20 causing brain damage or death.
  • ·When parked, use a sun shield to cover the windshield to minimize heat buildup and to help protect the car’s interior. Cover metal and plastic parts on seat belts and child safety seats to prevent burns.
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