Waze to Avoid Labor Day Traffic

Labor Day (or "Labour Day" to our Canadian Wazers): a reward for all your hard work, and the last hurrah of Summer before school starts and work schedules return to a more normal pace and routine. Wazers everywhere are headed to BBQs, the beach, and outdoor adventures near and far. It's all fun-in-the-sun...until you're stuck in beyond-brutal traffic. 

Lucky for you, Wazers drove a lot over Labor Day weekend in 2016. And thanks to insights from those drives—and alerts from the weeks surrounding last year's holiday weekend—we can all Waze a little smarter this Labor Day. 

Read on to learn how to avoid peak traffic and when you can expect major spikes in reported police, jams and accidents in major metros across America and Canada. 'Cause we want to make sure you're driving smart *and* safe this holiday weekend.


Tuesday is projected to be one of the toughest travel days of the holiday week, with accidents potentially spiking by 18% over an average day. Make sure you alWAZE know where you're headed: turn your bluetooth on to take advantage of the new Waze Beacons, installed in tunnels across Boston, and avoid going "tunnel blind" underground.

Reported police peak as much as 41% over the holiday weekend, so keep your speed in check. 'Cause nothing can ruin a relaxing day off quicker than a speeding ticket.

Washington, D.C.
Police activity is expected to be especially high between Friday and Monday, so keep your speed in-check, your hands free, and your eyes on the road.

Pro tip: turn your 3-day weekend into a full 5-day vacation and you'll be Wazeing around the projected jam increases.

With 4 hours of traffic increases and a 39% jump in police reports expected, avoid traveling on Labor Day, if possible. Instead, try to hit the road on off-peak travel days like Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday.

Consider extending your holiday weekend into Tuesday morning so you can avoid the expected increase in police and traffic on the road.

Remaining alert as you Waze is as important before the holiday as it is after, with jams, police and accidents likely to spike throughout the week.

Kansas City 
With jams, police, and accidents all potentially spiking throughout the week, try to keep your time on the road to Wednesday and/or Sunday.

San Francisco
Early riser are most likely to avoid traffic in the Bay Area with peaks in traffic expected in the afternoon for the entire week surrounding the holiday weekend.

Los Angeles 
Getting up and on the road before noon could mean major time savings, with the worst times to drive all expected in the afternoons and evenings across the metro area throughout the week.

San Diego
Wazers in the Southern California area are likely to start their weekend early as peaks in traffic jams are expected start up to 5 days before the holiday. Our advice? Consider a stay-cation to kick off your celebration.


Mornings and early afternoons are projected to be the worst times to drive, so we recommend taking advantage of your vacation time and sleeping in a little.

Wazers of Toronto like to go big on Labour Day, with traffic peaking midday and report police projected to jump 22% higher than the average Monday.

Stay alert to hazards and drivers on the road around you, especially early in the holiday week, when accidents could spike as much as 66%.

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