Last Updated on June 16, 2021 by Elizabeth

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According to an American Automobile Association (AAA) survey, fewer Americans will travel for Independence Day weekend this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter traffic if you’re getting out of Dodge. Here’s what to know for your July 4th weekend getaway.

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A significant majority of holiday weekend traffic may be hitting the road at the same time.

How to Avoid the Worst of the July 4th Traffic

For Americans who will travel by automobile this Independence Day, INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute, with Thursday, July 1 the worst day on the roads.

The busiest driving day will be Thursday, but the worst days for travel depend on where you live, AAA says. Most travelers will either leave Thursday between late afternoon and evening or Friday morning. On the tail end of the weekend, most travelers will return home Sunday afternoon. If you can plan on departing earlier or later than these travel windows, you’ll be more likely to avoid starting or ending your holiday getaway stuck in a traffic jam:

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Keep these windows in mind when you’re booking a car rental for a July 4th weekend getaway. Be sure to plan a pickup time that lets you get out of town before the traffic hits.