Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for driving, and this year will be no different.
According to data compiled by INRIX, severe congestion is predicted in several U.S. metro areas, with some drivers sitting through more than double the normal delays.
Auto club AAA estimates that 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving — a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes. This year is expected to be the third-busiest for holiday travel since AAA started tracking the numbers in 2000.
Here are the cities with the worst Thanksgiving traffic, according to INRIX:
Atlanta peak traffic time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
Boston peak traffic time: 2:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
Chicago peak traffic time: 3 p.m. -5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
Detroit peak traffic time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
Houston peak traffic time: 3:45 - 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
Los Angeles peak traffic time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
New York peak traffic time: 2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
San Francisco peak traffic time: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
Seattle peak traffic time: 4:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23
Washington DC: 11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27
Best and worst times to drive for Thanksgiving
If you can, travel early in the morning on Wednesday or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Experts says to avoid travel between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Heavy traffic congestion is seen on Interstate 395 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
"Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the holiday weekend," said Bob Pishue, a transportation analyst for INRIX. "Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic."
Worst driving times for Thanksgiving:
Wednesday, Nov. 23: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 24: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 25: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 26: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 27: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Best driving times for Thanksgiving:
Wednesday, Nov. 23: Before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 24: Before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 25: Before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 26: Before 2 p.m. and after 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 27: Before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m.