How to Avoid the Worst July 4th Weekend Traffic

Traffic Jam

AAA estimates that 44.2 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home during the Fourth of July holiday stretch, which means that this summer could be the busiest Independence Day ever.

We all know how hard it can be to get out of Dodge when you're going on vacation. But sometimes getting back into Dodge can be just as challenging.

The folks at Waze, the must-have driving app, want to make the upcoming holiday weekend all the more enjoyable by keeping you out of traffic.

Here are their top tips for avoiding the peak snarls over the holiday weekend. While you're at it, take a look at these tips for having a safer road trip.

Leaving town for holiday weekend

Get on the road by 7am. Don't assume you can beat the traffic by leaving work early on Friday, since everyone else will have the same idea.

Expect traffic to peak around noon and again between 2 pm and 5 pm on Friday, June 30, when the holiday drivers collide with the normal rush hour.

July 4th fireworks

On Tuesday, July 4, the bulk of the traffic will be between 3 pm and 6 pm in big cities like Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, as residents return home after a long holiday weekend and others arrive for fireworks celebrations. If you're heading to a fireworks celebration in a major city, expect serious traffic several hours before the fireworks begin and afterward from 10 pm to midnight as everyone leaves the viewing location.