Record numbers of holiday motorists mean longer delays

CHICAGO (AP) -- Thursday will be the season's busiest traffic day in the Chicago area.

AAA tells the Chicago Tribune that travel times will triple from 4 6 p.m. because holiday travelers will pour onto roads already clogged with post-work commuters.

AAA and global transportation analytics company INRIX provided the estimates.

Graham Cookson is chief economist and head of research for INRIX. He says record levels of travelers mean motorists must prepare for delays.

Experts predict 107 million travelers will drive, ride and fly to holiday revelry. The vast majority will be 97 million driving highways and interstates during the year-end holiday travel window -- Dec. 23 to Jan. 1.

AAA says that would be a 3 percent increase in auto traffic over last year and a record level.