DETROIT (WWJ) – If you plan on driving in metro Detroit this holiday season, there’s one day you’ll definitely want to avoid being on the roads.

AAA Michigan says Thursday, December 21 between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. will be the worst time for drivers to travel in metro Detroit over the Christmas break.

Drivers are expected to experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week — on Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 21 — in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.

Travel times during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the normal trip, according to AAA.

AAA says more people will be traveling this holiday season, too — roughly 3.5 million Michiganders — and the majority are choosing to drive. The auto club says this is the largest number of holiday travelers since they began tracking the data back in 2001.

On a national level, AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will be traveling during the holiday period — again, the highest year-end travel volume on record.

Travel Tip: The best times to leave are typically early morning or after the morning commute because the roads should be less crowded and you will have more time to get to your destination safely. If your schedule permits, traveling on the holiday itself often results in fewer cars on the road as well.

For the latest from the roads, stay with WWJ Newsradio 950-AM during Traffic and Weather on the 8s, 24-hours a day. Check for recent incidents now on the CBS Detroit Traffic Page.

 

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