Gas Prices Soar in Maryland Ahead of Thanksgiving Travel. When is the Best Time to Hit the Road?
Gas prices are on the rise in Maryland, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. With nearly 1 million Marylanders and over 49 million people nationwide expected to travel by car, AAA MidAtlantic predicts that it will be a busy time on the roads. Here’s what you need to know about gas prices, the best times to travel, and more.
According to gasbuddy.com, the average price of a gallon of gas in Salisbury, Maryland, was $3.26 as of Monday, November 20th. This is up 20 cents from the previous week but still significantly lower than the $3.78 average in August. However, the state average price of gas is slightly higher at $3.27. So, it’s important to keep an eye on gas prices as you plan your Thanksgiving travels.
AAA is projecting that almost 1.1 million Marylanders will be hitting the road this Thanksgiving weekend, an increase of more than 3 percent compared to last year. However, it’s worth noting that this is still down more than 8 percent from pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Despite the decrease, this year’s forecast ranks as the third-highest since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.
When it comes to the best and worst times to travel during the Thanksgiving weekend, INRIX, a transportation data and insights provider, offers some insights. The busiest day on the roads is expected to be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. INRIX suggests that the worst time to travel that day is between 2 and 6 p.m., while the best time to hit the road is before 11 a.m. On Thanksgiving Day, the worst time to travel is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., with the best time being before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Friday, November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving, will also be busy. The worst time to drive is between noon and 4 p.m., while the best time is before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Similar patterns apply on Saturday and Sunday, with heavier traffic in the afternoons.
AAA expects to respond to approximately 350,000 stranded drivers across the country during this Thanksgiving holiday, with more than 9,000 of those calls coming from Maryland. To avoid being one of those stranded drivers, AAA offers some tips to prepare your vehicle before hitting the road. Start by checking your tires, ensuring they are properly inflated and have enough tread depth. It’s also essential to check your battery for signs of deterioration, such as slow engine starts or dim lights. Take your vehicle for a brake inspection if you notice any grinding sounds or vibrations. Replace worn-out wiper blades and replenish windshield cleaner for clear visibility. Additionally, make sure all engine fluids, including oil, coolant, and brake, transmission, and power steering fluids, are at the correct levels. Finally, pack an emergency kit with essentials such as a flashlight, first-aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks, car battery booster cables, and emergency flares or reflectors.
In conclusion, gas prices have increased leading up to Thanksgiving travel in Maryland. AAA predicts a significant number of Marylanders hitting the road, but slightly lower than pre-pandemic levels. INRIX provides insights into the best and worst times to travel during the Thanksgiving weekend. To ensure a smooth journey, AAA recommends checking your vehicle’s tires, battery, brakes, windshield wipers, and fluid levels, and packing an emergency kit. Stay safe and have a happy Thanksgiving!