Best and worst times to travel, don't get stuck in July 4th traffic

Barbecue, fireworks and the beach are Fourth of July staples.

However, there are two things that can totally ruin your holiday weekend: rain and traffic.

One of them isn't in your control and, despite the estimated 44 million people expected to be driving between Friday and Tuesday, avoiding traffic can be easy if you know the right times to hit the road.

Inrix studied data from previous years and did some predicting.

RELATED: 13 US cities with the worst traffic

13 US cities with the worst traffic
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13 US cities with the worst traffic

13. Baton Rouge received a score of 26%, meaning it took commuters 26% more time to travel anywhere in the city. This was a 3% increase from 2016.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

12. Atlanta edged ahead of Baton Rouge with a score of 27%, also a 3% increase from the year prior.

(Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images)

11. San Diego had the same exact traffic score as Atlanta at 27%, also a 3% increase from 2016.

 REUTERS/Mike Blake 

10. Boston received a score of 28%, a 3% increase from the year prior.

(Photo by Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

9. Washington D.C. barely edged out Boston with a score of 29%, a 3% increase from the year prior.

 (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

8. Honolulu received a score of 29%. That's the same as Boston, but Honolulu has more congestion in the morning. Honolulu's traffic score was the same as the year prior.

(Photo by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)

7. Portland also received a traffic score of 29% overall, a 3% increase from the year prior. But Portland has a much higher concentration of traffic in the afternoon than Boston or Honolulu.

(Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

6. Miami received a score of 30%, a 2% increase from the year prior.

REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

5. San Jose got a traffic score of 32%, a 2% increase from 2016.

(Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

4. Seattle received a traffic score of 34%, a 3% increase from the year prior.

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

3. New York actually barely edges out San Jose with a traffic score of 35%, a 2% increase from last year.

REUTERS/Adrees Latif 

2. San Francisco has a high traffic score at 39%, a 3% increase from 2016.

(Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

1. But it's probably no surprise that Los Angeles is the most congested city at 45%, a 4% increase from last year.

 REUTERS/Bob Riha Jr 


If you're driving out of the NYC area, it's best to leave Saturday morning instead of Friday.

If you must leave Friday, leave in the early morning before 8:00 a.m. and drive back Monday night. You'll save yourself hours of July 4th traffic.

Those driving out of LA should avoid Friday between 1-6:00 p.m.

If you're driving around LA toward Santa Monica expect Saturday and Sunday to be rough. Opt for a Friday or Monday beach day instead.

Fox News reports Chicago will have extreme delays starting with the rush hour commute on Friday.

Avoid it altogether and leave Thursday night. A Tuesday morning return looks better than the afternoon but Wednesday should be clear.

Leaving Houston? Opt for later Friday night after 6:00 p.m.

If you're heading into Houston, Saturday afternoon and evening are expected to be clear.

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