Holly Yurchison / WVXU

After a slow start, summer in Southwest Ohio is starting to feel more normal... and by normal we mean HOT.

Heat advisories and watches are in effect for Wednesday and Thursday.

Holly Yurchison

If you're among the 1.7 million Ohioans AAA says are taking a vacation this Independence Day holiday, you're in good, but likely crowded, company. The auto club estimates 1.4 million Ohioans will drive more than 50 miles from home between Wednesday, July 3 and Sunday, July 7.

Where are we going?

Pack your patience, a majority of the top destinations listed by AAA are along the I-75 corridor.

Hands-free is not risk free. That's the message from AAA.

The auto club is releasing what it calls a groundbreaking study on distracted driving. AAA along with the University of Utah found voice-activated, hands-free technologies on cell phones and in cars pose the greatest risks for distracted driving accidents.

“The risk is extensive,” says AAA spokesperson Cheryl Parker. “If you have these voice activated, in-car technologies, don’t use them unless you’re safely parked.”

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

AAA is projecting a slight decline in Memorial Day travel.  The automobile association says 34.8 million people will be traveling more than 50 miles from home Thursday through Monday.  Last year it was 35.1 million.   The automobile association estimates 1,312, 559 Ohioans plan to travel for the holiday, also a slight decline from last year. 

The economy's been doing better, but....

Cheryl Parker with AAA in Cincinnati said one reason for the decrease is the impact of the  federal government's budget sequester is starting to be felt. 


Have you been keeping an eye on the price of gasoline in the last few weeks?  Cheryl Parker with AAA in Cincinnati has been doing just that.

"Yeah, they've declined," she said.  "For the first time in ten years we've seen a decline in gas prices in the month of March.  It's very unusual."

Definitely not the norm for this time of year

Gas prices usually start heading up in the spring, but they decreased last month and now average about 30 cents per gallon less than a year ago.  

Many people will be celebrating the New Year tonight and, as with any party, some will have too much to drink and need a safe ride home. 

MADD and AAA are joining forces again this year to offer Care Cab.  It will provide a free taxi ride home to people who’ve had too much to drink. 

MADD’s Andrea Rehkamp (RAY-camp) says it's important to think before you drink.


AAA is predicting the national average price of gasoline for Labor Day this year will be the highest ever for the holiday. Spokeswoman Cheryl Parker says we're looking at a high for local gas prices as well:

 "The highest for us locally was$3.75 last year on Labor Day; and, as you can see, we're already at the average of $3.93.  So it's already the highest that we're seeing pretty much across the country."

 Other average prices from the Cincinnati AAA office:  Ohio, $3.90; Kentucky, $3.87; and Covington, $3.96.