Nearly 4 Million Southern Californians to Travel for Thanksgiving Holiday: AAA

Millions of Southern Californians are expected to make 2017 the busiest Thanksgiving holiday season for travelers in the past 10 years, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Traffic was backed up on the 405 Freeway as Thanksgiving travelers mixed with evening commuters in West Los Angeles. (Credit: KTLA)

Traffic was backed up on the 405 Freeway as Thanksgiving travelers mixed with evening commuters in West Los Angeles. (Credit: KTLA)

AAA is forecasting 3.87 million people will be heading out of town for Thanksgiving this year, making it the busiest for local travelers since 2007.

Nearly 86 percent of those travelers are expected to be going by car.

So what is the worst time to hit the road? AAA says drivers in Los Angeles will experience the greatest amount of congestion Tuesday and Wednesday evenings as commuters mix with holiday travelers.

Drivers traveling between 3:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday will see the greatest delays, with travel times likely to more than double.

In addition to the congestion, drivers will have to contend with rising gas prices, which have reached their highest levels in more than two years and are likely to remain above $3.20 per gallon on average throughout the holiday weekend, according to AAA.

The company listed San Francisco, San Diego, Anaheim, Grand Canyon and Santa Barbara as the most popular destinations for Southern California travelers.

Those looking to avoid the gridlock are taking to the air. AAA is predicting 429,000 Southern Californians will get to their destinations by plane, a 5.4 percent increase over 2016.