The Worst Time to Drive Over the Holiday Weekend

Thursday afternoon expected to be most congested, followed by most of Friday
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2023 11:46 AM CDT
Thursday May Have Worst Traffic for Holiday Weekend
   (Getty / Alexendragl1)

Hoping to get a jump on the long weekend's traffic by heading out on Thursday? If so, you're not alone. The period of 2 to 6pm Thursday is expected to be the most congested on the nation's roads in regard to Labor Day weekend, according to transportation data outfit INRIX, per Axios. Friday won't be much better, unless you're driving early or late—the site says 11am to 9pm will likely be congested. Saturday will be better, with the hours of 10am to 4pm heaviest, while Sunday should see "minimal traffic impact" throughout the day and night, per the Automobile Association of America. Those heading home on Monday can expect the heaviest traffic between 10am and 6pm.

  • Summing up: "The best times to travel by car over Labor Day weekend are early in the morning or in the evening," said INRIX analyst Bob Pishue. "If you must travel during heavy traffic, navigation apps and local departments of transportation can help steer drivers around long delays."
  • Flying: The busiest day for air travelers over the holiday weekend is expected to be Friday, per Travel and Leisure. The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen 2.7 million travelers that day. All in all, it expects air travel related to Labor Day (from Friday through Wednesday) to be up 11% over last year, with about 14 million passengers in all.
(More Labor Day stories.)

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