Labor Day is nigh, which means that you may be hitting the road to squeeze in one more ounce of fun before summer unofficially comes to a close this weekend.
As millions of other Americans are expected to be traveling alongside you, there’s a very good chance your Labor Day weekend will begin with a lot of traffic and gridlock as you head to your destination.
But with a little proper prior planning — and some data from safe-driving Android app Drivemode — you may be able to travel unscathed. In a new study, Drivemode analyzed driving conditions in 19 big cities across the country to find out which hours on the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day might have the slowest travel times.
The app looked at driving trends of more than 756,000 users ahead of this year’s Memorial Day weekend and compared the number of minutes it took average drivers to travel one mile, hour by hour, on the Thursday and Friday before the holiday.
“Drivers are always trying to beat traffic, and before a holiday weekend, they are often more motivated to spend the least amount of time on the road as possible,” said Yo Koga, Drivemode CEO and founder. “We can see that drivers in different cities experiment with different times to leave, often coalescing around surprising times. Whether it’s because of day shifts ending or flexible holiday office hours, each city reveals its own unique trends for trying to beat traffic.”
When to not travel for Labor Day weekend
If you plan to travel on Thursday, you might not find a wide-open road. Drivemode found that the day’s slowest traffic was worse than Friday’s in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
While we’re going to focus on our three Metro cities of Boston, New York and Philadelphia, you can see how your city fares by visiting news.drivemode.com.
The worst hour to leave Boston on Thursday is 5 p.m., when Drivemode found it took 7.04 minutes to travel one mile. The worst time to leave the city on Friday is between 4-5 p.m.
If you’re planning to leave New York on Thursday, avoid 5-6 p.m., when it could take you nearly five minutes to go one mile. You may also want to rethink leaving at lunchtime on Friday because the slowest time to travel is from noon-1 p.m., according to Drivemode.
Those looking to leave Philadelphia on Thursday for Labor Day weekend could see slow travel times between 2-3 p.m., while 6-7 a.m. is the slowest time on Friday.