WORCESTER – The Tuesday before Thanksgiving will be the busiest day of traffic ahead of next week’s holiday, according to a new study by AAA.

In Massachusetts, traffic along 495 South between exits 41 to 33 will be 3.5 times heavier from 4 PM to 6 PM on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year will be no different,” says Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX, the company that collaborated with AAA to predict the upcoming holiday traffic trends.

Travelers from the Massachusetts will top 1.2 million, with more than a million of them traveling by car. Both are also the largest numbers seen locally since 2005.

“Consumers have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season: higher wages, more disposable income and rising levels of household wealth,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “This is translating into more travelers kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway, building on a positive year for the travel industry.”

“Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice to drivers is to avoid commuting times in major cities altogether or plan alternative routes,” Reed said.

By the Numbers: 2018 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Forecast

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 48.5 million – will hit the road this Thanksgiving, nearly 5 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air, at 5.4 percent, with 4.27 million travelers.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 1.4 percent, with a total 1.48 million passengers.
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