When to stay off the road during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend


I hate traffic. So avoiding a traffic jam is key to me. That’s why I was intrigued by new stats from Waze — the world’s largest community based traffic and navigation app — about when you will face traffic this Thanksgiving holiday season.

Veteran air travelers know that the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday and Monday after are the busiest travel days of the year. This year, there will be more scrutiny in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. Plus, a lot of people who fly for the holiday don’t often fly other times of the year. So they don’t know the routine and that slows the whole process down.

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But most people drive for the holiday. If that’s you, here are the peak travel times for road warriors.

Stay off the road during these windows if you can

Tuesday: The morning is lighter than normal. Traffic starts at 1 in the afternoon. Peak traffic is afternoon to evening from 4-8 p.m.
Wednesday: Morning is light and then at 11 am it builds up hour by hour. The peak is 3-7 p.m.
Thursday: Traffic is fine, more like a weekend than a weekday.
Friday: Traffic is fine, more like a weekend than a weekday.
Saturday: Traffic is fine until evening.
Sunday: Traffic is gross, just terrible, on this day. The worst of it is from 1-6.
Monday: Traffic tends to quieter during the morning rush hour because of late returnees. Then traffic builds again later in the day.

Waze is basing their predictions on data collected last year. In 2014, the app noted an increase of 323% in traffic jams; a 112% increase in accidents; and a 100% increase in police presence.

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