The best and worst times to undertake your Thanksgiving drive.
If you’re one of the 49 million Americans planning to drive to see family or friends during the Thanksgiving holiday, a Washington Post article by James Bikales outlines AAA’s suggestions for avoiding the biggest traffic jams.
Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest holidays for road trips over 50 miles. This year, car travel is projected to be 0.4 percent higher than 2021, though still 2.5 percent below pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to AAA.
As Bikales explains, “The best time to hit the road Thanksgiving week is Monday at 8 p.m. local time, according to Google, which examined its Maps data from last Thanksgiving in more than 20 major U.S. cities.”
Unsurprisingly, the worst traffic is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings during regular commute times, particularly Wednesday, when most people leave school or work to head out for the holiday. “At peak Wednesday afternoon, New York City will see a 158 percent increase above typical traffic, Los Angeles 144 percent and Atlanta 105 percent. Traffic in those cities, along with Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle, will peak Wednesday afternoon.” On Thanksgiving Day itself, the best times to drive are early morning or late evening.
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