According to AAA, a record 42 million people are expected to travel for the July 4 Independence Day weekend in the United States, swallowing historically high fuel expenses to clog the highways.

For the first time ever, the average retail price of gasoline in the United States has surpassed $5 per gallon. While this isn’t a record high by inflation-adjusted standards, it still represents a nearly $2 rise over a year ago.

Despite the higher price, gasoline demand in the United States is only 1% lower than typical for this time of year.

If the 42 million figure holds true, it will surpass the 41.5 million individuals who drove by car on Independence Day in 2019, according to the American Automobile Association.

“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off.”

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