Google Maps Forecasts The Best — And Worst — Times To Travel On 4th Of July


For many Americans, it is a time-honored tradition to travel on the road for Independence Day and to get stuck in a lot of traffic.

4th Of July In 2018

Americans proudly celebrate Independence Day on July 4. Typically, many people will go away for the holiday and travel to different cities and other parts of the country.

Since some people will travel for the holiday, it is normal to take off from work or maybe spend the entire July 4th weekend away. However, the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, which means there isn't really a clear weekend for the holiday. That means that travel times for Independence Day in 2018 might be different than other years.

On top of that, AAA estimates that a record of 47 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this year. That includes 40 million people traveling on the roads. The worst traffic could occur on Tuesday, July 3.

"With a record-level number of travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around major metros," Scott Sedlik, General Manager and Vice President — Public Sector, INRIX, told AAA. "Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes."

Google Maps Rolls Out A Helpful Feature

Google Maps launched an Independence Day traffic survival guide to help drivers determine the best times to avoid traffic in 2018. It built the platform using historical data to determine what times drivers should stay off the roads.

On the platform, Google Maps has generated an interactive component. It predicts the best and worst times to travel for the 25 most populated cities in the United States. Users also have the option of only seeing daytime travel. There is also an option to see how the traffic changes during different days of the holiday week.

As for the methodology of the online tool, Google Maps examined data from the holiday in 2017. It analyzed the number of cars on the road and the average speed.

Nationally, Google Maps recommends that people depart for the holiday the day before. However, if that is not possible, drivers could hit the road between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. on the day of the holiday to avoid traffic.

"The worst time to leave is generally mid-afternoon when people are likely en route to their fireworks destination," Google wrote. "Interested in the best time to leave after the fireworks? If you can hold out until after 11:00 PM, you'll have a better shot at avoiding the post-show traffic jam."

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