Holiday traffic: Worst times to drive in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The holiday travel crush is in full swing. As millions head to their destinations, the time you hit the roads could make all the difference.

As many as 112.5 million people across the country are expected to take trips of at least 50 miles via runways, roads or rails this holiday season between Dec. 22 and Jan.1, according to AAA.

More than 102 million of these travelers will be driving, which is a 4.4 percent increase over last year. In Southern California, that number is projected at 8.7 million, which is up 4.8 percent from last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

AAA and transportation analytics company INRIX have broken travel times down to a science.

The heaviest holiday traffic in Los Angeles is expected to be Thursday, Dec. 20 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. INRIX says it could take up to two times longer than average for Angelenos to reach their destinations if traveling by car during that time frame.

If you are planning to travel by road on Thursday, AAA suggests leaving early - since the congestion will come from a mix of late afternoon commuters and holiday travelers.

AAA also said more than 960,000 motorists will likely need roadside assistance this holiday season. To avoid this, AAA advised the following:

- Get your battery checked
- Check up on your tires
- Bring a spare key
- Get a checkup
- Pack an emergency kit

You can learn more by visiting

If you are hitting the road for the holiday, you'll be paying more at the pump.

The average price for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles County went up 3 cents on Wednesday to $3.45 -- the biggest hike in the year.

The price had dropped for 53 straight weeks until the streak ended on Sunday.

In Orange County, the average price also went up 3 cents to just over $3.41 per gallon.

MORE: LAX expecting record numbers this holiday season
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LAX is expecting a record number of travelers this holiday season and the airport is launching a new program to help people get in and out easier.

Air travelers will see a high volume of passengers too. At Los Angeles International Airport, approximately 100,000 vehicles are expected to drive in and out of the airport each day through at least Sunday.

It's going to test your patience, so here's some advice from LAX police when you're dropping off someone at the airport.

Arrive at least three hours early for international departures and two hours early for domestic flights.
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