HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - More Americans than ever before are expected to hit the road for the Fourth of July weekend, according to AAA.

About 49 million travelers are planning a getaway with Wednesday predicted to be the worst day on the roads.

That's 4.1 percent more than last year.

"This is the most in terms of numbers that we've ever seen, as long as AAA has been keeping a record of such things and there are several reasons for it," said Amy Parmenter, AAA spokesperson.

The Firestone family will be among them, potentially with a new addition.

"[It's] her first pregnancy and their new home that they’re going to be moving into very shortly," said Hope Firestone, Long Island, NY. "We’re so excited, this is great news."

The family also said they're expert travelers.

"We know the road and we know the traffic," said Lawrence Firestone, Long Island NY. "We have 2.5 hours on the road. Normal rush hour traffic interferes with a lot of stuff."

AAA said drivers will face delays as much as four times longer than their normal commute. It said the key to saving time is to watch the clock and avoid certain times on the road.

Travelers headed through the New York City area will want to avoid the city from 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Delays during that time frame are expected to be the lengthiest in the nation.

Gas prices across the northeast are also about an average of 10 cents per gallon more than surrounding states.

For those hitting the road, gas prices on the national average are about $2.73.

Anyone traveling around the northeast can expect to pay around $0.10 more in Connecticut. However, that's still $.25 cheaper than last year's average price.

In Connecticut, this is the first holiday weekend in several years that the state's seven rest area buildings will be open around the clock. There are four on Interstate 84, two on Interstate 91 and one on Interstate 95.

For real-time traffic updates, check the Channel 3 traffic map here.

Ahead of the holiday, Connecticut State Police is also reminding folks to take precautions on the road.

Troopers will be conducting roving DUI patrols and spot checks over the holiday weekend.

Drivers are also reminded to buckle up, follow the speed limit, and avoid distracted driving.

If you suspect a drunk driver on the road, call 911.

During the July 4 weekend in 2018, state police issued 995 speeding tickets, 2,530 tickets for moving violations, made 38 DUI arrests, and investigated 489 crashes, three of which were deadly.

"Last year over the fourth of July holiday, AAA responded to more than 500 people, members who had locked themselves out of their vehicle, just in the Greater Hartford area alone," Parmenter said. "So there's a lesson that if you take your time, slow down a little bit, you can actually save time."

"And relax," added Lawrence Firestone. "There’s nothing you can do about the traffic so you might as well go with the flow."

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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