Survive the drive! How to handle Labor Day weekend traffic

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If you’re going to be on the road this weekend (actually, if you’re there now) chances are you won’t be moving fast.

AJC Commuting Blogger Alexis Stevens has exactly zero good news for motorists, given a confluence of traffic-tying events coming up at the same time.

AJC Breaking News reporter Mike Morris has some pertinent details, like free Marta rides!

WSB Channel 2 Action News had some incredible footage of a multi-vehicle pile up today on Interstate 75 in Marietta. Miraculously everyone involved walked away.

My friend Karen Carlisle was among the drivers who happened to be passing through at that moment and shared some observations.

Cobb County resident Karen Carlisle discusses this morning's traffic calamity on I-75. Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Cobb County resident Karen Carlisle discusses this morning’s traffic calamity on I-75. Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Whew!

Crashes aside, Labor Day travel tends to be laborious. Here are a few time-tested travel tips. Feel free to add yours below.

  1. Download Waze. Now. The super helpful crowd-sourcing traffic app will give you years of your life back over time. Plug in your destination before you head out (Waze will not let you text and drive) and listen up for the best short-cuts, courtesy of info provided by your fellow drivers. Be sure to allow push notifications as well. Waze alerted me to the above traffic situation on 75 South today so that I did not add to the mess. It took me an hour to get to the AJC via surface streets but at least I was moving!
  2. Download Breakdown. AJC courts reporter Bill Rankin and editor Richard Halicks worked on this utterly riveting podcast series earlier this year. All episodes are now available. As obsessed as I was with Serial, I thought Breakdown was better. The series examines a murder case and has a stunning conclusion. Start from the first episode and you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll get to the end. If  you’re going to sit in traffic, you might as well learn something.
  3. If you’re driving this weekend, consider unique local fare instead of predictable chains when it’s time to stop for lunch. A stop a Grits Cafe in Forsyth, Ga. is my favorite part of the drive to Savannah when we head down to see family.
The last time we stopped at Grits Cafe in Forsyth, Ga., I focused on taking pictures of the ceiling, since that makes so much sense. They have food there, not just groovy light fixtures. Photo: Jennifer Brett

The last time we stopped at Grits Cafe in Forsyth, Ga., I focused on taking pictures of the ceiling, since that makes so much sense. They have food there, not just groovy light fixtures. Photo: Jennifer Brett