By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With some 4 million people expected to hit the road this Thanksgiving, far more than last year during the height of the pandemic, experts said the best bet for drivers is to practice patience because they won’t be alone on the road.

Long stretches of stop and go traffic will be the reality for travelers this holiday weekend.

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“The drive has been okay,” said Juanita Carranza, whose family is making their way to LA from San Antonio, Texas. “I mean, San Antonio traffic is also busy, but nothing compared compared to California traffic. I mean, lots of freeways.”

Nov. 24, 2021

Nearly 4 million Southern California residents are expected to also hit the road, a 16% jump from last year, and while most of the southland will experience congestion, the worst corridor is the 1-5 Freeway South, from Colorado Street near Griffith Park down to Florence Avenue in Downey.

That’s according to INRIX, a transportation analytics company. They said traffic in that area was expected to be 385% above normal levels.

From travelers to commuters, driving has become a nightmare, just ask Martin Grijalva who is traveling from Glendale to Hesperia.

“Yesterday, it took me three hours to get home. Usually, it takes me more than an hour,” Grijalva said.

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The added congestion on the roadways comes as drivers are paying high prices for gasoline. In LA County, the average cost of a price of regular is $4.70 a gallon.

“I’m in a bind right now with these gas prices,” said driver Billy Botts.

He said it costs him about $100 to fill his gas tank up, enough for him to try and limit his time on the road.

“I’m in Riverside. I have a business here in the galleria, at the mall. I’m trying to save money now by staying home instead of coming over here making sure the business is running alright,” said Botts.

Regardless of the high gas prices and the traffic, for many the drive is inevitable, and for other drivers on the road this holiday season, Grijalva had this advice:

“Just put on some good music and try not to road rage or anything like that,” he said.

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For drivers planning on hitting the road tonight, experts said traffic will be best after 9 p.m. On Thanksgiving day, the recommendation is to drive any time before 11 a.m., and the expectation is that traffic will be at its worse Thursday from noon to 3 p.m.