4th of July traffic: These should be the best and worst times to drive

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Fourth of July weekend is always a popular time to travel, but AAA believes this will be a record-setting year, with more than 50 million Americans expected to drive at least 50 miles.

On July 4, 2022, the national average for gas prices was $4.80 per gallon, according to AAA. Currently, the average is below $3.60 per gallon, which is a big reason why AAA predicts an additional 2 million people on the road relative to last year.

Still, if you don’t want to spend your gas money idling in traffic, you may want to time your drive to avoid sharing lanes with millions of other Americans.

AAA projects these hours as the best and worst hours to jump behind the wheel:

Date Best Time Worst Time
Thursday, June 29 Before 12 p.m. 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, June 30 Before 10 a.m., After 6 p.m. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, July 1 Before 12 p.m. 1 p.m.
Sunday, July 2 Minimal traffic expected Minimal traffic expected
Monday, July 3 Minimal traffic expected Minimal traffic expected
Tuesday, July 4 Before 11 a.m., After 6 p.m. 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday, July 5 Before 2 p.m. 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

AAA expects that more than 4 million Americans will fly to their Fourth of July destination, which would also be a new record. Given the recent issues with delays and cancellations, be sure to check your flight status before heading to the airport.

Hundreds of thousands of people have had travel plans thrown in the air after a wave of storms raked the Northeast over the past few days.

Airports in Chicago, Denver and Newark, New Jersey — all hubs for United — were seeing the most delays on Thursday, according to FlightAware.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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