Thanksgiving: Best and Worst Times to Travel

The cold air has settled in, the last of the leaves are falling from New Jersey’s trees, the Giants are playing well and the Jets are thinking about next season….it must be the week of Thanksgiving!

Getting the chance to spend quality time with loved ones while enjoying some turkey and pumpkin pie always makes this week a joyous time. However, as New Jersey’s premier car accident law firm, we at Mintz & Geftic also know that holiday weekends bring about some of the most hazardous conditions on our roadways. This Thanksgiving will certainly be no exception according to most travel and auto accident experts.

AAA Travel is projecting that nearly 1.25 million New Jersey residents are planning a Thanksgiving trip of at least 50 miles. With 48.7 million people expected to travel across the country–the country is expecting the highest travel volume since 2007.

While this number includes people choosing to fly to visit family for the holiday, driving is still the primary choice for most New Jersey drivers. In fact, more than 89 percent of all travelers are expected to travel by car, meaning 1.1 million New Jersey drivers will be taking to the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and our other roadways in the coming days.

Best and Worst times to Drive on Thanksgiving Weekend – New Jersey Accident Lawyers

The following is a breakdown of expected traffic for each day of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. This data incorporates reports from both Google Maps and Waze.

Tuesday: Peak traffic from 4-8 p.m. Huge increase in usage starting from 1 p.m. until the end of the day, fewer users than usual in the morning.

Wednesday: If you need to leave on Wednesday, hit the road around 6am to avoid traffic delays. Peak traffic is from 3-7 pm, but large increase in drivers starting from 11am through the end of the day.

An increase of 63% in accident alerts from Waze Users on this day. This includes rear-end collisions, serious injury accidents, truck accidents and other crashes due to the increased traffic.

Thursday: Driver behavior and car accident reports similar to a weekend day and not a work day.

Friday: Driver behavior and car accident reports similar to a weekend day and not a work day.

Saturday: Per Google’s data, this is the worst day to return home after Thanksgiving. Their traffic data indicates Saturday at 4pm is the busiest time, where traffic jams and accidents are increased.

Sunday: Worst day to travel after Thanksgiving according to Waze. They report that traffic jams increase by 240 percent and both car accident and truck accident reports are increased.

Monday: If people can take Monday off, traffic volume is much lighter waiting the extra day and traveling on Monday.

Bottom-line, avoid traveling Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday if at all possible. Otherwise, please travel safely and always remember to Put Down the Cellphone

We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels this weekend!


Elizabeth, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

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