Interstate Highway News and Events

AAA Holiday Travel Headache Hotspots

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with the American Automobile Association (AAA), reports that based on historical and recent travel trends, they expect drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week – on Wednesday, December 20 and Thursday, December 21 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. For example, drivers in New York City could see travel times peak at three times a normal trip between 3:30 and 5:30pm.

“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metros,” says Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist & head of research at INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak times altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Worst Days/Times to Travel

  • New York, New York
    • Worst Day for Travel: Wednesday, December 20
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 3X
  • Los Angeles, California
    • Worst Day for Travel: Wednesday, December 20
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 3:30 PM and 6:00 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 2.5X
  • Washington, DC
    • Worst Day for Travel: Thursday, December 21
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 2.5X
  • San Francisco, California
    • Worst Day for Travel: Wednesday, December 20
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 3:00 PM and 5:30 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 2X
  • Chicago, Illinois
    • Worst Day for Travel: Thursday, December 21
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 2X
  • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Worst Day for Travel: Thursday, December 21
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 2X
  • Seattle, Washington
    • Worst Day for Travel: Wednesday, December 20
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 2X
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    • Worst Day for Travel: Thursday, December 21
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 1.5X
  • Houston, Texas
    • Worst Day for Travel: Wednesday, December 20
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 1.5X
  • Detroit, Michigan
    • Worst Day for Travel: Thursday, December 21
    • Worst Time for Travel: Between 3:00 PM and 5:30 PM
    • Delay Multiplier: 1.5X

Source: INRIX

Travel Tip: Try to avoid traveling through major cities during peak travel times. The best times to leave are typically early morning or after the morning commute because the roads should be less crowded and you will have more time to get to your destination safely. If your schedule permits, traveling on the holiday itself often results in fewer cars on the road.

Pricey pump prices to decrease
The 90 percent of holiday travelers choosing to drive will find the most expensive year-end gas prices since 2014. This December’s national average price is $2.47 (Dec. 1-13), which is 28 cents more than last December. The good news is that AAA does expect the average to drop at least another five cents by year-end, saving motorists a few pennies at the pump.

Comments are closed.