Generally speaking, traffic is most dangerous during rush hour, which occurs between 7am and 9am and 3pm to 6pm on weekdays. Getting on the road early will help avoid these times and reduce the risk of becoming involved in a car accident.
It's also a good idea to get in the car earlier than your commute time if possible and avoid school zones, which are notorious for clogging up traffic. This will ensure that you're in the most comfortable, least stressful position possible when leaving your home for work or school.
In fact, if you live in a congested or metropolitan area, it's especially important to avoid the morning and afternoon rush hours. These are the busiest travel times and will result in higher fuel costs, more wasted time, and a more stressed out driver.
What's worse is that many urban areas are growing faster than the roads can handle. That's one reason why drivers are losing more time than ever to traffic congestion, says INRIX VP of global policy and communications Jeff Pishue.
Holidays can be a particularly bad time to drive, as travelers flock to their vacation destinations at the same time that everyone else is trying to get back home or travel. INRIX suggests that travelers should leave for their holiday trips before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving, and before 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, to minimize the amount of traffic they'll encounter.