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AAA Predicts Record Holiday Travel

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Dec. 23, 2019—More Americans than ever before—115.6 million—will travel this holiday season, from Saturday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan. 1. That is the most in nearly 20 years since AAA began tracking in 2000, and represents an increase of 3.9 percent over last year, or 4.3 million more people packing up their sleighs for a holiday getaway.

More than 104 million of those holiday travelers will drive to their destinations and, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects delays to be the worst on Thursday, Dec. 26, with afternoon delays reaching nearly double congestion-free drive times in major U.S. cities.

Here's a look at the worst cities in terms of predicted travel delays: 

City Worst Day to Travel Peak Congestion Delay Multiplier
Atlanta Thursday, Dec. 26 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. 1.3X
Boston Friday, Dec. 27 4:00 – 6:00 p.m 1.5X
Chicago Thursday, Dec. 26 4:45 – 6:45 p.m. 1.3X
Detroit Thursday, Dec. 26 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. 1.4X
Houston Friday, Dec. 27 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. 1.8X
Los Angeles Thursday, Dec. 26 4:25 – 6:25 p.m. 1.6X
New York City Thursday, Dec. 26 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. 2.7X
San Francisco Thursday, Dec. 26 4:00 – 6:00 p.m 2.0X
Seattle Friday, Dec. 27 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. 1.2X
Washington D.C. Thursday, Dec. 26 4:00 – 6:00 p.m 3.0X

On top of this, more than 853,000 motorists will call AAA for assistance at the roadside this holiday season. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. And remember to slow down and move over for stopped emergency vehicles at the roadside. It’s the law in all 50 states.

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