Thanksgiving Travel Tips-When Oregonians Should Drive to Avoid The Traffic

It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here.  Millions of people are gearing up to hit the road to travel to see family and friends.   Here, in Oregon the forecast looks wet (imagine that) and there is snow predicted to be a the mountain passes.   Wet weather conditions, poor visibility, frustrated and anxious drivers, and distracted and drowsy drivers all create the perfect storm for car crashes.  However, you can reduce your risk of being in a crash if you simply avoid much of the traffic. 

 Waze is a cell phone navigation app.  The app tracks drivers' speed, direction, and driving habits.   Waze does an incredible job of capturing and analyzing data to assist travelers predict travel patterns. Waze has monitored traffic for the past couple of years and has predicted when people should travel to avoid the Thanksgiving traffic. Waze believes the best and worst times to travel are:

  • Tuesday, November 22, 2016:  Avoid being on the road between the hours of 12PM and 6PM.  Especially between 4 pm and 6 pm.  It would be best to leave early or wait until after the 6 PM traffic thins out to hit the road. In the Portland area, most traffic does not thin out until about 630 PM.
  • Wednesday, November 23, 2016: Your odds of being in a car crash increase by 33% if you choose to travel on Wednesday.  Waze suggests avoiding the road in the late morning to the end of the day.  Most people travel on Wednesday, so it would be best to try and get an early start on Wednesday to avoid the traffic and the increased risk of being injured in a crash.
  • Thursday, November 24, 2016:   Thursday is a great day to travel, but it is also Thanksgiving.   Most people are already at their destinations, so there really is not much traffic on the road.  However, those that are traveling please be careful of the Drunk Drivers on the road.  If you suspect a person is DUII on the road call the police immediately and keep your distance. 
  • Friday, November 25, 2016:  Waze's data notes that Friday is a great day to travel.  However, we all know from experience that driving around shopping malls and other stores can be a nightmare on "Black Friday."   The Woodburn Outlet Mall usually has traffic backed up in the right lane of I-5 for a long distance before the exit.  Areas around the Washington Square Mall  also become congested.    These areas are particularly dangerous because of the amount of frustrated and anxious people on the road.   
  • Saturday, November 26, 2016:  Waze notes Saturday is a great day to drive.   There shouldn't be much traffic that date, so it may not be a bad idea to hit the road early.  
  • Sunday, November 27, 2016:  Waze predicts on Sunday there will be 100% more car crashes than usual.  Traffic Jams increase by 240%.   The bottom line is that driving between 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM is a terrible idea.  
  • Monday, November 28, 2016:  Monday is predicted to be a great day to drive.  Waze only advises that the highest increase of vehicles on the road will be at around 3:00 PM. 

I hope everyone reaches their destinations safely and without too much stress and frustration.  However, should the unthinkable happen and you find yourself injured in a car crash, please call me at 503.224.1658.  Ross Law LLC is happy to provide Free Personal Injury consultations.  Please remember the data above is provided by Waze.  Ross Law LLC is not affiliated with Waze,  and has not vetted any of the data.  If you have issues with the predictions, please contact Waze.   Also, please remember that applications such as Waze can be very distracting to drivers and can cause car crashes.  Please keep your eyes on the road if you are using Waze and listen to the voice commands.