Christmas 2020: Make sure you’re not on the road at this time

Christmas 2020: Worst times to travel in the U.S. Despite AAA anticipating less travel this holiday season, some 84.5 million Americans may still venture out. Here's when some of the worst delays will happen in cities across the U.S. New York, Dec. 30 at 4:30 p.m. Atlanta, Dec. 26 at 3:45 p.m. Washington, D.C, Dec. 28 at 11:30 a.m. Los Angeles, Dec. 29 at 5:15 p.m

This Christmas, one thing is almost certain: the coronavirus pandemic has led a vast majority of Americans to stay home, according to data compiled by AAA.

Concerns surrounding the continuing coronavirus pandemic has led to people choosing not to travel at a time that usually has a high demand for vacations. AAA reported that Georgians’ year-end traveling by air, automobile and bus or train has dwindled. There has been a 58.8% drop in flying, a 22.9% drop in driving and an 86.1% drop in traveling by bus, train or taking cruises.

“While Thanksgiving is traditionally spent gathering with friends and family, the year-end holidays are when Americans often venture out for longer, more elaborate vacations. That will not be the case this year,” Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group said in a statement. “Public health concerns, official guidance not to travel, and an overall decline in consumer sentiment have encouraged the vast majority of Americans to stay home for the holidays.”

Increased delays are expected for holiday afternoons, according to global travel analytics company INRIX. Although traffic congestion during the holiday week will likely be less than in years past, it’s possible for people venturing out in major urban areas to experience delays of upwards of triple the standard drive times at popular bottlenecks during the day.

“Despite warnings, Thanksgiving traffic surged more than 30% above the daily pandemic average in some states,” Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst at INRIX said. “We expect a similar increase around the upcoming winter holidays unless stricter travel restrictions are put in place and followed.”

In Atlanta, the worst time to drive on I-75 North to Arthur K. Bolton Pkwy to I-675 is Dec. 26 at 3:45 p.m.

For those who elect to travel, electric supply company Elite Fixtures has analyzed U.S. Bureau of Transportation data from the past five years. It found that the best days to journey this season are Dec. 18, Dec. 19, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Worst day to travel in Atlanta

Saturday, Dec. 26

3:45 p.m.

Peak delay: 32 minutes