With pandemic restrictions lifted, many people are ready to celebrate their freedom by traveling this 4th of July weekend. If you're hitting the road, expect to see state police there alongside you.
"This is an opportunity for people to get going and have some normalcy," said Laurel Benjamin, who flew to her destination.
While airports are seeing a gradual increase in the number of passengers, the majority of families are choosing to head out onto the roads this weekend.
"AAA is projecting record-breaking travel by car. Travel overall isn't quite back yet to what it was pre-pandemic, but auto travel is even higher than it was in 2019," said AAA Greater Hartford Spokesperson Amy Parmenter.
AAA expects nearly 2.5 million New Englanders to travel this 4th of July weekend and predicts more than 90% will do so by car.
"Even though you've got these higher gas prices and other expenses are higher than usual, we just can see that folks really want to travel," said Parmenter.
And drivers will have company. State police are out in force and are asking motorists to buckle up, obey speed limits, not follow other vehicles too closely, and eliminate those distractions. Troopers are conducting DUI patrols through Monday evening.
"We're just asking all of the drivers this holiday weekend just be safe. Enjoy the weekend," said CSP TFC Pedro Muniz.
But before traveling, AAA suggests making sure your vehicle is road-ready. That means checking your car's windshield wipers, tires and fluids. Experts recommend getting gas when you get to a quarter tank or so because there will be sporadic outages at some gas stations due to a shortage of tanker truck delivery drivers.
"They won't be long lasting. The shortages will not be across an entire market, but perhaps the first gas station that you pull up to might not have gas. So you really don't want to wait until you're, you know, kind of just driving on vapors," said Parmenter.
AAA is predicting more than 4,000 calls for service just in the Greater Hartford area this weekend. They expect more than half will be for tows and that hundreds will be for people who've locked themselves out of their cars. It's another good reminder to take your time.
State police are also reminding motorists about the Move Over Law which requires you to move over if you're in the lane next to where an emergency vehicle is stopped. If you can't, you need to slow down below the speed limit.