NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Today is the worst travel day of the holiday season, according to AAA.
AAA predicts this holiday season will break records, with 112.5 million Americans expected to hit the roads, rails and skies – a 4.4 percent jump from last year.
“We’re anticipating, in some cities, as much as a quadrupling of travel times,” AAA’s Robert Sinclair told CBSN New York. “Atlanta is the worst, and New York is right behind.”
Watch: AAA’s Robert Sinclair On Holiday Travel
Thursday is the worst time to travel in New York, specifically between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., since many plan to head out after work.
“On a daily basis, we’re seeing a lot of extra traffic. So when you throw in the holiday, it makes for an even worse commute,” Sinclair said.
The growing number of registered cars on the roads makes things even worse. In the five boroughs alone, between 2012 and 2017, there was an 8.2 percent increase from 1,776,536 to 1,925,041 registered vehicles.
Web Extra: Read AAA’s complete travel forecast (.pdf)
If you can wait, consider driving on the actual holiday. But if you need to leave beforehand, Sinclair says you should “get a good, early start.”
“That makes a big difference,” he said. “If you have some sort of real-time based traffic app, you should use that.”
The good news for drivers? AAA predicts the cheapest December national gas price average in two years.
For those who plan to fly, pack your patience. Air travel is expected to reach the highest level in 15 years.