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Thanksgiving Travel To Be The Busiest In 13 Years, AAA Says

SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts more people traveling this Thanksgiving than in the last 13 years.

So how can you avoid traffic and how should you prepare in case you do get caught in it?

If brake lights bring you flashbacks of last week's traffic during the snowstorm - when Manhattan froze in gridlock and drivers were stuck on highways up to ten hours - then you're probably not looking forward to Thanksgiving travel.

MORE: New Yorkers Left Stranded After Snowstorm Causes Widespread Issues With MTA Buses

"I thought I'd try a day earlier to beat the traffic but I still hit it," Chris Minidas of Boston told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

"If you leave any time in the evening over the next few days you're gonna hit traffic, it's unavoidable," Robert Sinclair of AAA warns.

Sinclair said Tuesday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. is likely the worst time to hit the road.

Last Thursday really, really sticks in people's minds as far as how bad traffic can be so they really want to get out ahead of time, but just shifting the rush from one day to another," Sinclair explained.

AAA predicts the heaviest traffic in our area will be at:

  • The 495 Viaduct from the Lincoln Tunnel to the New Jersey Turnpike
  • The Hutchinson River Parkway
  • The Belt Parkway

"We're anticipating 300,000 breakdowns just our members over the holiday travel period," Sinclair added.

Police advise drivers to check tires, fill up tanks, and charge phones before leaving.

Even a plane ticket doesn't get you off the hook. AAA says flights are up compared to this week last year.

Friday, traffic was so bad outside LaGuardia Airport people had to run past the gridlock to make their flights.

The Port Authority says it's putting extra traffic agents at the terminals and positioning tow trucks for quick response.

AAA also warns to be weary of traffic-tracking GPS. They're usually best for short distances, but if you blindly follow navigation for too long, Sinclair said it can take you down convoluted routes that don't save much time.

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