You’ve been warned: The worst times for Atlantans to drive Memorial Day weekend

Traffic on Atlanta’s Downtown Connector.
Traffic on Atlanta’s Downtown Connector.

Atlanta commuters may want to prepare for a rough holiday weekend this year.

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According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 39 million Americans are expected to travel 50 plus miles away from home this weekend.

That's one million more travelers leaving home during this year's Memorial Day holiday (May 25 to May 29) compared to last year and the highest level of traffic for the holiday since 2005.

To help ease the pain in Georgia, the state Department of Transportation (GDOT) announced it will suspend construction-related lane closures from noon Friday, May 26, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 30 on interstate highways.

Lane closures on state routes serving major attractions will also be limited.

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Popular traffic and navigation app Waze also determined the best and worst travel times in Atlanta during the three-day weekend.

Based on last year’s data, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend is the worst time to be on the road due to congestion and accidents, a Waze spokeswoman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In fact, according to Waze data, accidents increase by 19 percent on Friday and policemen alerts (a feature on the app that allows users to share police checkpoints with nearby drivers) increase by 50 percent Friday.

Police alerts also tend to increase by 25 percent Saturday and 30 percent Sunday during the holiday weekend.

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When you plan your return home Monday, try leaving after 5 p.m. if you want to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

If you’re not scheduled to return until Tuesday, be careful of road hazards. According to Waze data, hazards tend to increase by 15 percent in Atlanta on the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.

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