Expect holiday traffic crunch to start today

Independence Day may not be until Saturday, but you can expect to see the roads getting heavy starting Wednesday.

"It's going to be a busy, busy summer travel holiday," AAA's Garrett Townsend tells WSB Radio.

The official start of the travel period began Wednesday and will run through Sunday.

Townsend hopes having the actual holiday fall on a weekend will help commuters.

"It could spread it out a little bit," said Townsend. "Everyone won't be in such a rush to get back on Sunday. Hopefully that will ease out some of the traffic getting back into the Atlanta area."

Overall, AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday weekend. It projects about 1.1 million Georgians will do the same.

It should be the busiest Independence Day weekend on the roads since 2007 for a couple reasons.

"We see there's rising income driven by a strong employment market," said Townsend. "And then also the gas prices remain well below last year's level."

As always, he reminds everyone in a car to be safe by wearing a seatbelt and avoid distracted driving. He says anyone who plans to drink should get a designated driver.

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