Nearly 50 million Americans will hit the road this Thanksgiving to visit family and loved ones. To help drivers remain vigilant during the ongoing distracted driving epidemic, Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) analyzed almost 5.8 million drives in the U.S. to uncover the most congested and dangerous cities this Thanksgiving, as well as the best days to travel throughout the week.

Based on data analyzed from November 19 to 26, 2018, CMT found Wednesday is the most congested day to travel with the most drivers on the road, while Thursday is the most dangerous. On Thursday, people are more likely to encounter distracted driving and speeding, as people rush to their seat at the table.

CMT discovered that during Thanksgiving week,  Tuesday is when speeding on the roads is at its lowest, while the Wednesday before Thanksgiving day is the most congested day on the road.

The most congested cities on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving

              1. Dallas
              2. Los Angeles
              3. Atlanta
              4. Baltimore
              5. Houston
              6. Phoenix
              7. Detroit
              8. New York City
              9. San Francisco
              10. Philadelphia

Additionally, Thursday is the most dangerous day to drive due to high levels of distraction and speeding.

The most distracted cities for travel on Thanksgiving day

              1. Memphis
              2. New Orleans
              3. Nashville
              4. Arlington, Texas
              5. Kansas City, Missouri
              6. Charlotte
              7. Houston
              8. Miami
              9. D.C.
              10. Fort Worth, Texas

The speediest cities for travel on Thanksgiving day

              1. Boston
              2. D.C.
              3. Las Vegas
              4. Baltimore
              5. Atlanta
              6. Milwaukee
              7. Philadelphia
              8. Indianapolis
              9. Louisville
              10. Chicago

Thanksgiving is the time of year to be surrounded by friends and family, and to give thanks for what is most important. This year, exercise caution during road travel, and when you’ve had your fill of leftovers on Sunday, know that distraction is at its lowest for your drive home.

Stay safe on the road this Thanksgiving week with these tips:

  • The best day to leave is Tuesday when speeding on the roads is at its lowest and traffic has not peaked.
  • Leave early on Wednesday, the most congested day on the road during Thanksgiving week.
  • Be extra cautious on Thanksgiving day when drivers are both the most distracted and speediest.

Methodology
CMT uses phone sensors and the optional Bluetooth Tag device to gather data about speeding, acceleration, hard braking, cornering, and smartphone distraction. CMT processes the raw data to produce best-in-class insights. This study conducted November 2019 uses data from 5,791,145 drives during the week of November 19th to 26th, 2018.