Is Traffic Bad on Memorial Day? 

Of course it is, how to navigate it: 4 Tips for Avoiding Traffic Jams

Bad Traffic

As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, is traffic going to be bad? Millions of Americans are gearing up for travel, making it one of the busiest times of the year on the roads. Does that mean traffic is bad? The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that 38.4 million people will be driving this holiday weekend, the highest number since AAA began tracking in 2000. With such a significant increase in travelers, planning your trip to avoid the worst traffic will be very important.  

Peak Traffic Times to Avoid

According to transportation analytics firm INRIX, travel times during Memorial Day Weekend can be up to 90% longer than usual. To minimize your time stuck in traffic, it’s crucial to avoid peak travel periods. Here’s a breakdown of the worst times to be on the road:

Thursday and Friday: Avoid traveling between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: Steer clear of driving from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday: The worst time to travel is between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Regional Traffic Hotspots

Certain areas are expected to experience severe congestion. If you’re traveling in these regions, consider alternative routes or adjust your travel times:

Southern California: I-5 N from Los Angeles to Bakersfield will see a significant increase in travel time, particularly after 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Washington, D.C.: The Baltimore/Washington Parkway N will be heavily congested on Friday afternoon around 2:15 p.m.

New York: On Thursday morning, the I-87 heading toward Albany will be particularly slow around 11:45 a.m.

San Francisco: The I-80 E to Napa Valley will experience slow traffic late Friday morning around 11 a.m.

Return Trip Traffic

As you can imagine, the return trip can be just as problematic as the initial journey. Here are some routes to avoid or consider adjusting:

Florida:  The I-75 S from Gainesville to Tampa will be busiest on Sunday after 9 a.m.

Texas: Travelers returning from Galveston to Houston on the I-45 N will face the worst traffic around 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Washington State:  The I-90 E from Ellensburg to Seattle will be congested on Sunday around 4:30 p.m.

Massachusetts: The I-93 S between Manchester and Boston will be slow on Sunday morning around 8:45 a.m.

Tips for a Smoother Journey

Use Traffic Apps: Stay updated with real-time traffic information through apps like Waze or Google Maps. Check before you leave.  

Check Local News: Local news stations and radio stations will give you up to date information. 

Plan Alternative Routes: Have a few backup routes in case your primary route is heavily congested.

Travel Off-Peak: If possible, travel during non-peak hours, such as early in the morning or later in the evening.For more information regarding travel times specifically in your regions you can visit Forbes

Memorial Day Weekend is a prime time for travel, but with the right planning, you can avoid the worst traffic and enjoy your holiday. By staying informed about peak travel times and regional hotspots, you can make your journey smoother and more enjoyable. Safe travels!

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