Christmas travel delays on deck for return home

The safest time to drive is after 8 p.m. through the early hours of the morning

Americans traveling Thursday and Friday after Christmas should expect double and even triple the traffic delay times in some cities, according to a recent report by transportation analytics company INRIX.

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More than 104 million Americans are expected to drive to their destinations -- a 3.9 percent increase since last year -- causing worse delays than the four days leading up to Christmas, INRIX reported.

"Travelers should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the eighth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays," Paula Twidale, vice president of travel at AAA, said in a statement.

In this Jan. 11, 2017, file photo, early morning traffic is at a standstill on Interstate 5 headed into town as a semi-truck and cars block the off-ramp to Highway 217 above in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle will experience slight delay times while New York City, San Fransisco and Washington, D.C., will experience double or triple the usual traffic delays over the same period.

FORD CREATES TO SIMULATE EFFECTS OF DRIVING WITH HANGOVER 

The most dangerous time to be on the road during the holidays is between noon and 5 p.m., while the safest time to drive is after 8 p.m. through the early hours of the morning, according to a Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) report, citing data from its DriveWell platform.

Cities with the most distracted driving -- specifically from phone distractions -- during the holidays are Miami, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Houston, Baltimore, Louisville, Detroit, Dallas and Charleston, according to the report.

Traffic Jam in E 59th St and over the Queensboro Bridge, Midtown Manhattan, New York City. iStock

AAA estimated that about 115.6 million Americans would travel via car, plane, train or bus from Saturday, Dec. 21, through Wednesday, Jan. 1, according to a press release. The number is the largest AAA has recorded since it began tracking holiday travel numbers in 2000, representing an increase of 4.3 million travelers compared to last year.

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The number of people traveling by plane increased by nearly 5 percent since 2018, and the number of people traveling by bus, train or cruise ship increased by 3 percent since last year, according to INRIX.

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FOX Business' Ann Schmidt contributed to this report.