Traffic on Thanksgiving is famously bad. We all like to think we'll get out of work in time to beat the rush of commuters heading home for the holidays, but odds are, you end up sitting in traffic with the rest of us.
Fortunately, the team at Google maps has taken the time to analyze a ton of traffic data from Thanksgivings past to help you best determine when you should leave as well as the times when you should absolutely avoid traveling on the busy roadways.
Depending on what state you live in, the results vary slightly, but overall, the traffic data points to Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 21) between 3 and 4 p.m. as the busiest times on the road. That time frame makes sense given that plenty of companies give employees a half-day before the long Thanksgiving weekend.
The good news, you've now got an excuse for leaving your family on Friday after the post-Black Friday shopping sprees. Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. is the worst time to head home according to traffic data in cities like Boston, Miami, New York City, Chicago and Dallas. For motorists in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles should avoid the roads at 4 p.m.
Saturday looks free and clear for those looking to get home, but you'll want to get out of there before Sunday afternoon when traffic increases heavily, with plenty of Turkey-stuffed motorists clog the highways in what looks like a normal weekday.
The team at Google also offered some other pro-tips about Thanksgiving including that you should avoid bakeries, grocery stores and liquor stores Wednesday afternoon as people rush to stock up. Black Friday plans should be made in advance, including any movies you might want to see. Theaters also tend to be extra-crowded Friday nights after Thanksgiving, the data from Google suggests.
Planning ahead is important. You're already going to have your hands full with family stuff during Thanksgiving. The last thing you need is a guilt trip about how long it took for you to get there.
Photo: Google, Getty Images