Waze wants to help you avoid holiday traffic from hell

Big data makes good and keeps you out of traffic trouble this Christmas.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

The time has come, it's 4 p.m. on Dec. 22, you have the family truckster packed to the gunwales with gifts and 2.5 kids, and you're ready to hit the road. You pull out of the driveway and onto your street, things are beautiful... until you hit the freeway and it's just a sea of brake lights. In the immortal words of the great sage DJ Khaled, "Congratulations, you played yourself."

Berlin Public Transport Strikes Resume
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Berlin Public Transport Strikes Resume

Holiday traffic once again rears its ugly head.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Waze has determined, through serious number crunching involving hourly driving data from users in over 130 metropolitan areas, that the absolute worst day to travel for the holidays is Dec 22 between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. What is the best time to travel? The answer isn't surprising -- it's Christmas Day. When everyone wants to be spending time with their families, the smart people are casting commitment to the wind and hitting the road, wafting effortlessly down the highway to their destination.

Other interesting trends that Waze was able to identify include a 61 percent increase in navigation to grocery stores when compared to the previous four weeks. Christmas Day sees a 130 percent spike in navigations to movie theaters, so do yourself a favor and stream something at home. Perhaps most interesting is that New Year's Day doesn't register as having any more or less traffic than a typical Sunday, so nurse your hangover and head home at your leisure, no need to worry about "beating the rush" home.

Waze has done its best to arm you against potential holiday travel hazards. Now, it's up to you to take that information and employ it. No matter when you choose to leave to visit family for the holidays, please drive safely!