Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving, Google can offer some advice: Try to avoid driving anywhere the day before.
Analysts from the search-engine giant’s Google Maps division crunched traffic data from 21 U.S. cities over the past two years and found that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is by far the worst traffic day that week, with some notable exceptions. (In Honolulu, Providence, and San Francisco, the worst traffic is always on Saturday; in Boston, it’s Tuesday.)
Unfortunately, Wednesday is often the only available travel day for many Americans—but Google thinks they can beat the worst of the traffic if they leave before 2 p.m. or after 7 p.m. on that day. Traffic on Thanksgiving itself is also light, according to the data. When it comes to driving back home, Sunday beats Saturday from a traffic perspective.
According to Google Maps’ aggregated trends, Americans also seek out “ham shop,” “pie shop,” and “liquor store” on the day before Thanksgiving, as they rush to secure last-minute items.
There are many more data tidbits up at Google Maps’ official blog.
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