Last updated: 04:03 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

What Are The Best and Worst Times To Travel For the Fourth?

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | July 02, 2015

What Are The Best and Worst Times To Travel For the Fourth?

Weekend gridlock is nothing new in the summer months, when millions of Americans are heading to the beach, amusement parks and other warm weather destinations. But Fourth of July weekend is notorious for its traffic jams. 

Fortunately, with a little knowledge and the right planning, you can avoid the logjam in 2015.

Data from Google's traffic and navigation app Waze via Karissa Giuliano of CNBC reveals some key insights ahead of Fourth of July weekend.

Whether you're leaving town on Thursday or Friday, data shows you're better off hitting the road before 7 a.m. Typically, traffic will peak around noon on both days and become even worse between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. when holiday travelers combine with rush hour commuters.

On July 4, Waze advises travelers to avoid or be patient traveling between the hours of 10 p.m. and 12 midnight as firework displays will be wrapping up and people will be heading home for the night. 

The journey home this holiday weekend will be just as stressful as getting there for some. Waze's figures show that rush hour is likely to extend from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday in most areas, with traffic expected to increase by more than 60 percent on July 5.

Although traffic will vary by city, Waze's data shows that, for the most part, you can expect congestion around the aforementioned times regardless of where you are in the U.S. Obviously, major cities like Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. figure to be impacted more heavily based on volume. 

With so many additional cars on the road, Waze warns travelers to also stay alert for checkpoints and accidents, citing reports of police activity increasing by 26 percent on July 4 and nearly 50 percent on Sunday.

Meanwhile, reports of accidents are projected to rise by as much as 18 percent on Sunday.

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