Holiday exodus underway in Mid Michigan

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GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan (WJRT) - (06/30/17) - With the 4th of July falling on a Tuesday this year, many people took off for the holiday Friday evening.

ABC12's Amy Hybels hit the roads to find out how drivers are coping with the mass exodus.

AAA estimates one-and-a-half million Michiganders will travel at least 50 miles from home this holiday, the majority, by car.
We asked drivers what their strategy is for beating-the-traffic.

"I try to leave a little later so I get behind the traffic," noted Jeff Sape who is driving to Charlevoix, "and on the way home I'll leave early on hopefully it won't be quite so bad."

For some, it appears the leave-Friday-night-strategy is paying off:
"it's usually a four hour drive for us, "noted Karen Wyatt who is headed to Wolverine, "I figured it would take five or five and a half hours but it seems to be moving pretty quick."

Jamie Aken, who is on a ten hour road trip, recommends an extra dose of patience for parents traveling with babies:

"Probably some patience, extra pacifiers if they take them, and snacks for everyone," she said.

Record low gas prices this holiday might be fueling the drive to hit the road.

"It's definitely better this year," remarked Jason Wright from Davison who fueled up his truck to Bay City on Saturday for the fireworks show.

"I'm not going to complain since I drive a truck this year."

Rest stops are a must for those with pets-as-passengers.
It's also a chance for drivers to fuel up --at no charge thanks to the Clio Masonic Center --in coordination with Operation Care. They provide everyone who stops by with coffee, donuts and cookies.

"It's important you take a break, get some refreshment, keep the highway safe," remarked Duane Fuller who was manning the refreshment table Friday night.

A note of caution for those heading out over the long holiday break, July Fourth has also been the deadliest day of the year for drivers in recent years according to an analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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