THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving traffic hits the road earlier

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Experts predict Tuesday night and Wednesday morning will be the most crowded times for holiday travel on the road.

I-95 toward Baltimore was a long line of brake lights Tuesday evening.

The clichés are known: Tuesday is supposed to be the busiest travel day of the year and Friday is the busiest shopping day, but just like how retailers are now opening their doors on Thanksgiving night, travelers are bumping up the calendar, too.

AAA projects 43.6 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving weekend, an increase of about 1-percent over the 43.3 million people who traveled last year.

New this year, the I-495 Express Lanes. For some travelers, they were a godsend, sending them sailing by traffic.

"That was pretty nice," said Dave Jones of Vienna.

But it hasn't been smooth sailing for drivers since the lanes opened Saturday. There's been a number of accidents where the lanes start near the Mixing Bowl.

Video from the Monday morning drive showed how motorists are having trouble making up their minds about which lanes to get into. AAA officials says rather than a last second swerve "just drive through until you find the next exit and then get off."

Holiday air travel is expected to decline to 3.14 million travelers from 3.2 million last year, according to AAA.

“We had to stop because my legs were cramping up from driving and it was just unbelievable,” says Dan Chycoga.

“I can’t imagine what it will be like on Wednesday,” says his wife.

Experts believe traffic will be worse Wednesday morning than the afternoon.

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