Truckers ought to expect more traffic than normal on highways during next week’s long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
AAA predicts 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, most of them by car. That number is up 1.5% from 2021. AAA’s annual forecast says this year is also projected to be the third-busiest Thanksgiving travel season since AAA started tracking it in 2000, eclipsed only by 2005 and 2019, respectively.
AAA defines the Thanksgiving holiday travel period as the five-day period from Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 27.
Some 49 million Americans are expected to travel by car during that period.
AAA’s forecasting partner INRIX expects severe congestion in several U.S. metro areas, with some drivers experiencing more than double normal delays. Highways in and around Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles will be the busiest.
To avoid the most hectic times, INRIX recommends traveling early in the morning on Wednesday or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and avoiding travel between 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year will be no different,” said Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst, INRIX. “Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the holiday weekend. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”