New England roads will see more Thanksgiving travelers than any other region in the country this year, with the traffic crush expected to be at its worst Wednesday.

AAA estimates a 9.6 percent increase from 2008 in the number of New Englanders who will drive 50 miles or more.

“It’s one of busiest travel days of the year, no doubt,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Southern New England spokesperson.

 

Jeff Larson of SmartRoute Systems, which studies Boston-area travel patterns, says the area highways will start to get nasty around 1 p.m., but were busier than normal Tuesday.

“The escape has begun today,” Larson said Tuesday. “We’ve seen that Tuesday is just as heavy as Wednesday in last couple of years.”

After a reduced number of toll collectors caused a road-rage inducing traffic jam this Easter, state highway officials have ensured that all interchanges will be fully staffed.

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