This is the worst time to drive during the July 4th holiday, according to AAA

Based on advance AAA Travel bookings, Boston is the 7th most popular Fourth of July destination in the U.S.

Mass. Pike traffic
Mass. Pike traffic –Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe, File

If you’re planning on traveling this week, be prepared to join 48.9 million of your fellow Americans in the feat, according to the AAA. The agency said it was the highest number recorded since it began tracking the data in 2000.

“This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast to coast are eager to travel,” AAA Travel vice president Paula Twidale said in a press release.

AAA expects 41.4 million people will drive during the holiday period, which the agency defines as Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7. Overall travel volume during those five days is expected to be 4.1 percent higher than it was in 2018.


Global mobility analytics company INRIX estimates that delays will increase nationwide by approximately 9 percent. While major metropolitan areas could see delays as high as four times a normal commute, it’s projected to be closer to 3.4 times a normal commute time in Boston.

INRIX predicts Friday, July 5 between 10 a.m. and noon will be the worst time to be on the road in Boston. The company also notes Wednesday, July 3, when commuters and travelers will mix, could be especially hectic.

AAA’s predictions are based on economic forecasting and research by London-based business information provider IHS Markit.