With over 50 million people doing a road trip to go home and back for Thanksgiving, many Americans face the prospect of sitting in their cars for hours. Innovative and life-saving apps such as Google Maps and Waze have led the way for navigating traffic, and Thanksgiving is no different, with the apps suggesting a great return route for after Thanksgiving.
According to Quartz, in an analysis of traffic counts done on traffic stations scattered across US freeways, the emptiest roads during the Thanksgiving weekend are on Friday and very early Saturday. The analysis says that traffic at these hours are even better than leaving exactly after dinner on Thursday night. The cause for this window time could be the rush of shoppers to malls for Black Friday sales. (READ: The Best Black Friday And Cyber Monday Travel Deals of 2016)
However, the analysis also warns that the data collected from 2015 could be different, as many expect 2016's Thanksgiving rush and traffic to be the busiest America has seen yet. So despite seemingly positive news about Friday and Saturday traffic, travelers should still expect some heavy traffic on the road, and would maybe consider alternatives, such as taking a short tour or vacation. (READ: The Longest Road Trip In The World Across The US's Best National Parks)
On the other hand, traffic app Waze tells ABC News that traffic starts building up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as well as later in the day on Saturday. The absolute worst is on Sunday, where traffic jams are expected to increase by about 240 percent. (READ: The Best And Cheapest Alternatives to Black Friday At The Mall)
Before getting in the car and driving the long drive back, US Highway Patrol advises everyone to check their brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, air, gas, engine and tires. Most of all, travelers would do well to remember to check themselves, by taking enough coffee, taking generous breaks at rest stops and not allowing their tempers to flare up while on the road.
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