What Are the Worst Travel Days of the Year?
When you’re returning home for the holidays or New Year’s Eve, you might want to get on the road as soon as possible: more than 109 million people hit the road between December 23 and January 2, causing traffic jams across the country, particularly along major highways. Read on to find out about what the worst travel days of the year are.
What Influences Travel Times?
Several factors influence travel times, including road closures, crashes, and weather. Travelers may suffer further delays due to a shortage of snowplow drivers in some areas. The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when traffic for the two holidays overlaps, are some of the worst days for congestion. During these times, it may be best to consider getting some extra vehicle coverage in the form of a broad-form insurance quote due to the heightened risk for accidents.
The Worst Times To Travel for Christmas and New Year’s Eve
According to Inrix, between December 23 and December 29, the best and worst travel times are:
- December 23: The best time to travel is after 7 PM, while the worst time is noon to 6 PM.
- December 24: The best time is before 1 PM, and the worst period is between 2 and 6 PM.
- December 25: Expect minimal traffic congestion.
- December 26: The best period is before noon, while the worst time is between 1 and 7 PM.
- December 27: The best period is before 1 PM, and the worst time is between 5 and 6 PM.
- December 28: The best time to travel is before noon, while the worst period is between 1 and 7 PM.
- December 29: The best period is before 11 AM, and the worst time is between 1 and 7 PM.
The Worst Areas for Traffic During the Holidays
Inrix discovered that big cities such as Chicago, Seattle, and New York City have some of the highest traffic spikes around the holidays. The following are some of the worst travel corridors and hours for the holidays:
- New York: From 4:30 to 6:30 PM on December 27, traffic on Interstate 278 South from Interstate 495 to 3rd Avenue is projected to be 358 percent above the usual.
- Chicago: On December 23 from 3:30 to 5:30 PM, traffic on Interstate 290 West from Morgan Street to Wolf Road is predicted to be 240 percent above the usual.
- Los Angeles: From 5:30 to 7:30 PM on January 2, traffic on Interstate 405 South from Sunset Boulevard to Interstate 105 is projected to be 194 percent above normal.
Traveling during the worst days of the year can be difficult, but we hope our recap will help you travel safely and expediently this year!