BOISE – A record number of Idahoans are hitting the road for the 4th of July weekend, but this year, travelers will be able to afford a few more fireworks.

According to AAA, today’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the Gem State is $3.96, which is two cents less than a week ago and seven cents more than a month ago, but a whopping $1.30 less than a year ago.  The national average currently sits at $3.54 per gallon.  That’s four cents less than a week ago, three cents less than a month ago, and $1.27 less than a year ago.

AAA projects that 50.7 million Americans will travel for Independence Day, including nearly 291,000 Idahoans, the most since AAA began tracking travel data for the holiday.  Amusement parks, the National Parks, beaches and lakes will be among the most popular destinations.

“Thankfully, pump prices have held steady and even dipped since mid-June,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “A large and very determined group of people will take full advantage of the opportunity to gather for a burger, a hot dog, and some family memories.”

Here’s a seven-year retrospective of Idaho and U.S. gas prices on July 4:


Idaho currently ranks 7th in the country for most expensive fuel behind Washington ($4.98), California ($4.84), Hawaii ($4.71), Oregon ($4.64), Alaska ($4.30), and Nevada ($4.22).

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $70 per barrel, which is $2 less than a month ago and $28 less than a year ago.  Crude oil makes up more than half of the price of finished gasoline.

“The summer spike in crude oil and gas prices hasn’t materialized yet, but it’s too early to tell if we’ve hit a major plateau or if we’re still sitting at base camp with another peak on the horizon,” Conde said.  “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Those who are planning a last-minute gathering for fireworks and fun should see light traffic today and tomorrow (July 4), but AAA recommends heading home before 2:00 PM on July 5, when the roads will start to get busy.

“Please be a courteous driver – everyone wants to end their holiday vacation on a high note,” Conde said.  “Increase your following distance, watch your speed, and scan the road for wildlife.  Be patient while passing on two-lane highways – make sure you have a large gap and enough time to do so safely.”

AAA recommends bringing plenty of water in your vehicle to cool off people and pets or to top off your radiator.  Never open a hot radiator cap.  Use a towel or blanket to protect you from road debris and hot asphalt if you need to change a tire or check under your vehicle.

Avoid impaired driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 538 people died in motor vehicle crashes over the 4th of July weekend in 2021.  More than a third of these deaths involved at least one impaired driver, with 82% of the impaired-driving fatalities occurring at night.

“Independence Day is a time for celebration, but it’s important to set appropriate limits on alcohol use,” Conde said.  “Whether you’re driving, boating, playing in or on the water, or lighting fireworks, you need to be alert and focused so that everyone stays safe.”

If you’re hosting a party, AAA offers these tips to reduce the risk of impaired driving:

  • Encourage guests to appoint designated drivers before people start drinking.
  • Provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic options for guests.
  • Stop serving alcohol well before the end of the party – switch to coffee, soda, or water.
  • If guests are too tired or intoxicated to drive home, arrange a ride with a sober guest, call a ride-hailing service, or arrange for overnight accommodations.
  • Limit your own alcohol intake so that you can recognize when others may be impaired and need your assistance.

AAA also recommends having these items at the ready for a fun and safe 4th of July:

  • A basic first aid kit
  • A garden hose and/or fire extinguisher
  • A plastic bucket with water in it

“We hope everyone has a fantastic Fourth,” Conde said.