Beware the Sunday after Thanksgiving. So says an analysis from Waze, the popular navigation app, which found that users on that day in 2014 reported an increase of 323% in jams, 112% in accidents, 79.8% in hazards and 100.2% in police alerts.
Waze used sessions from Thanksgiving 2014 drivers to pinpoint the most challenging times. Here's what a week of traffic across the country looked like:
Tuesday (11/24/2014): 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: Peak from 3-7 p.m. Large increase in usage starting from 11:00 till the end of the day, fewer users than usual in the morning. Also an increase of 62.9% in accident alerts, 38.6% in police alerts and 31.3% in hazards.
Thursday: Behavior similar to a weekend day and not a work day.
Friday: Behavior similar to a weekend day and not a work day.
Saturday: Small increase in usage.
Sunday: Peak traffic from 1-6 p.m. Entire day is above average.
Monday: Increase in usage in late morning, attributed to people going to work later than usual.
The obvious conclusion is that a Thursday-Friday itinerary is your best bet for minimal traffic and hazards. But even if you have to travel on the peak days -- the Wednesday before and Sunday after -- you can save time on the road by adjusting your departure time.
No matter when you drive, make sure your car is prepared, that you're awake and alert, and treat your fellow drivers with courtesy.