FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- AAA released a report Tuesday deeming it the worst travel day of the year, noting the influx of people on the road amid the holiday season.
Drivers are being warned of the delays in and around major transit areas; the roads are expected to be congested into Tuesday night.
Commuters along I-95 confirmed the roads have been congested but noted that the worst of the traffic jams happened Monday night into Tuesday morning. Travelers said the traffic has been affecting their holiday plans.
Christal Caso of Florida said she's been feeling the crunch on her holiday plans because of all the delays.
Caso has been driving from Florida to Canada and back so she can spend time with her granddaughter. She said her drive north on Christmas Eve was easy but going back has been trying. Her family started driving at 5 p.m. on Monday in New York and didn't reach Pennsylvania until 3 A.m. Tuesday, eating up precious time with her grandchild.
"We've only got so many days together now," Caso said. "(T)hat took at least two to three days; it's taken off of our time with her."
Another traveler, Raymond Muhula from Maryland, pointed out a silver lining. The congestion on the roads means people can be with their loved ones again after the pandemic. He said he doesn't mind dealing with the traffic to see his family because he lost family and friends during the height of COVID-19.
"Families lost loved ones, people lost their jobs, so it's just some huge blessings to be here now after the reality of the pandemic. People didn't bury their dead, Muhula said. "Why would you not be joyful that you are able to be on the road even if there is a lot of traffic and canceled flights."
Evan Revak of Virginia said he's had an easier time on the road, driving from Charleston to D.C. with his dogs. He said he usually flies to California to see his parents but wanted to change things up. Driving this year has been easier than flying, and he says he can afford more things on his shopping list because of the lowered gas prices:
"I bought my parents some nice gifts, I bought these two (dogs) some nice treats, as well...hopefully (I) will be able to save some money just to do some traveling," he said.
AAA said more than 100 million Americans are projected to be driving to their holiday destinations this season and 2 million more Americans are projected to be driving for the holidays this year than in 2021.