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It’s a jungle out there! Despite a heatwave predicted to raise nationwide temperatures nearly to the triple digits, experts anticipate this upcoming Fourth of July to break records for traffic, both in the air and down on the ground. Between gazing at fireworks and social events such as cookouts, family reunions and get-togethers with friends, nearly 47 million Americans have plans to hit the road next week.

To help drivers plan ahead and avoid the inevitable holiday traffic jams, Google Maps created an interactive guide to navigating 2018 Independence Day traffic, which offers travelers a ballpark picture of the best and worst times to leave home. The site includes national trends as well as city-specific data for 25 cities across the US.

Data and image courtesy of Google.
The data was compiled from Google Maps traffic data from July 3–6, 2017. Similar to this year’s holiday, the Fourth of July fell on a weekday in 2017, resulting in only slightly elevated traffic patterns in the days leading up to the holiday, indicating that many individuals chose to stay local due to the midweek holiday.
For lucky travelers who are able to take time off before July 4, Maps analysts say the best time to leave is July 3, early in the morning or late in the evening. Mid-afternoon on July 4 is the worst time to leave home in pursuit of that perfect fireworks vantage point, while 11:00pm will see roads snarled in a post-show traffic jam. 
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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