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This is rush hour traffic on the 405 Freeway at sunset. There are 10 lanes of traffic total showing both sides of the freeway. There are cars stopped in every lane.
spiritofamerica | Adobe Stock

When to Leave to Beat the Traffic This Labor Day Weekend

Planning on leaving Thursday afternoon to beat the Labor Day weekend traffic? So is everyone else. The American Automobile Association (AAA) just released its annual Labor Day weekend travel forecast, which predicts Thursday, August 31 between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. will be the busiest time drive over the long weekend. Friday, September 1 is also anticipated to have higher traffic volume than normal between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Empty open highway in Wyoming
haveseen | Adobe Stock

To beat the holiday traffic, plan to leave in the early morning on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, and to return home on Sunday or after 7 p.m. on Monday.

The Best and Worst Times to Drive Labor Day Weekend 2023

Date  Worst Travel Time Best Travel Time
Wednesday, August 30  12:00 PM – 8:00 PM  Before 7:00 AM 
Thursday, Aug 31 
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM  Before 7:00 AM 
Friday, September 1  11:00 AM – 9:00 PM Before 11:00 AM 
Saturday, September 2 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM After 6:00 PM 
Sunday, September 3 N/A Minimal traffic is expected throughout the day
Monday, September 4 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM After 7:00 PM

Gas Prices

Fortunately, gas prices will remain similar to last year for road trips over the holiday weekend. According to AAA’s forecast, drivers will likely see prices around $3.78 for a gallon of regular, the same average price as Labor Day 2022.

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