CHICAGO (CBS) — This year, 2.4 million people in Illinois will take to the road for the Independence Day holiday, and most are already gone.

“About a quarter of them left this past Friday night, and about a quarter of them left either Saturday or Sunday during the weekend,” said Nick Jarmusz, with the Triple A Motor Club.

Jarmusz said more people are traveling this year, and they are traveling farther than last year. On average, people are traveling 723 miles, up by 150 miles from last year.

Jarmusz says that’s in part because gas prices are lower than they were last year at this time.

Many people are also taking advantage of the mid-week holiday, and taking extra days off to make it a longer vacation.

Overall, holiday travel is up by 5 percent this year over last year.

“The Fourth of July is a driving holiday,” Jarmusz said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

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