When's the best time to hit the road this 4th of July weekend? - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

When's the best time to hit the road this 4th of July weekend?

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A record number of Americans, nearly 43 million, are predicted to hit the road this holiday weekend.

That number is up seven percent from last Fourth of July weekend and if this projection holds true, it would be the most travelers on any Fourth of July weekend since 2007.

According to the Waze app, the worst time to be driving this holiday weekend is on Friday between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The app predicts that's when the most cars will be on the roadways.

Some travelers driving Friday afternoon say they already can't wait to get to their destination.

"I do not want to be on the road Saturday or Sunday at all, if it's bad now just imagine what it's going to be like then," Theresa Miller said.

Miller is one of many trying to avoid traffic and crashes this Fourth of July weekend.    

"I trust his driving, I just don't trust other people's driving," she said.

The holiday weekend is already off to a rough start for many drivers passing through Chattanooga. Several crashes Friday morning caused major delays on the already busy roads.

"The interstate system is clogged up, the state highways are clogged up, and the secondary roads are clogged up," said Sgt. Alan Bailey.

While everyone is in a hurry to get their weekend started, Sgt. Bailey said speeding will only cause more problems.

"We're going to have saturations, road blocks, DUI checkpoints, seat belt checkpoints," he said.

What might be a silver lining for some, this will be the first holiday weekend in Tennessee where people can actually be ticketed for being a slow driver.

The "slow-poke" law takes affect July 1st and bans drivers for driving under the speed limit in the left lane.

"Now we have a base enforcement that we can pull them over and get traffic moving again," Sgt. Bailey said.

THP worked seven fatal crashes across the state during the July 4th weekend last year.

The goal for this year is to have everyone survive.

"And if you leave early that may curb your anger or the road rage we have out here. Just be patient with people, be courteous, and make sure you arrive safely," Sgt. Bailey said.

While Friday night is the worst time to be traveling out on the roads, the best time to travel will be Saturday morning before 11 a.m.

The worst time to make the trip back home is said to be Monday between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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