Best Time To Drive Through Atlanta: A Complete Guide

Knowing the best time to drive through Atlanta can help you avoid the traffic jam that is synonymous with one of the busiest cities in the US. With less traffic on the city road, you can enjoy the ride while taking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful city, especially if you’re a first-timer.

Best Time To Drive Through Atlanta

Even if you’re familiar with the city, knowing the perfect time to make your rounds will save you a lot of time. In this article, we’ll discuss the ideal time to drive around Atlanta and give some helpful tips to help you navigate the lovely city.

When Is the Best Time To Drive Through Atlanta City?

The best time to drive through Atlanta city on weekdays is between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., then 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. These hours are the least peak hours where there is less traffic on the road and you can enjoy a smooth ride.

Atlanta is a very busy city and the traffic jam appears to get worse by the day as the city becomes congested. On average, you can spend almost one hour in traffic trying to get through the city on some days.

This can affect your travel plans if you’re driving through the city or affect your work ethic if you are driving to work. To make things worse, getting stuck in traffic consumes more fuel than cruising at a constant speed.

This and other reasons make driving in Atlanta challenging even for people who have lived there for some time. However, we have some helpful tips to guide you as you journey your way through the New York of the South.

How Long Will It Take You To Drive Through Atlanta?

It will take you about 2.5 minutes per mile to drive through Atlanta during peak hours, however, the time could be shorter during off-peak hours. Thus, if you’re planning to drive 20 miles through or around Atlanta, that should take about 50 to 60 minutes tops.

Driving through an Atlanta traffic jam is stressful, thus avoid it if you can. You can choose the weekends too because not many people are going to work compared to the weekdays. However, if you have to travel during the weekday and peak hours, then we have a few tips on how to cope with the traffic, which we’ll discuss later.

So how bad is driving through Atlanta?

Driving through Atlanta is not bad except for the handful of semi-trucks you’ll encounter on the way which might delay you. Aside from that, drive defensively and watch out for other drivers, pedestrians, sharp turns and road signs. Keep your confidence high and you’ll be fine.

What Are Some Helpful Tips To Avoid Traffic in Atlanta?

Some helpful tips to avoid rush hour traffic in Atlanta include knowing the most congested times and days of the week and planning accordingly. You can also leave early or use an app that’ll help you navigate alternative routes to your destination to avoid traffic jams.

– Know the Days and Times of Congestion

Get to know the days and times of traffic congestion and plan your route so you avoid the main streets on these days and times. In Atlanta, the day of the week with the worst traffic jam is Monday. Don’t get us wrong; all the days are congested but Monday is slightly worse because people tend to move a lot slower.

Know the Days and Times of Congestion

The reason for this is that people tend to catch up on work emails, make phone calls, and have meetings while driving (which is not advisable) as a result of the weekend.This usually happens in the morning, particularly between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

when they are rushing to work. Thus, if you’re able to plan your trip to pass through Atlanta before 7 a.m. or after 9 a.m., there is a high chance of you evading the stressful traffic.

Evening traffic is not as hectic as morning traffic but can be stressful too. Thus, the best time to drive in the evening is after 7 p.m. as you are more likely to meet free-flowing traffic. Also, take note that festive periods cause lots of traffic on the streets of Atlanta.

Festive periods like Independence Day (July 4th), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve bring all kinds of people together. Consequently, the least congested days are Saturdays and Sundays because fewer people travel to work. In fact, there’s no best time to drive through Atlanta on Sundays as there are generally fewer drivers on the road.

– You Can Download a Traffic App

The app is to help you detect other routes with less vehicular traffic that leads to the same destination. Google Maps does a very good job and helps you navigate the less busy streets of Atlanta with no hassle.

While using the app, remember to avoid the inside right lane, which is mainly used by slow-moving vehicles and can cause traffic at times. Always stay in the left lane if you’re in a hurry, but be sure to not move faster than the speed limit to avoid a ticket.

Why Is Driving in Atlanta Challenging?

Driving in Atlanta can be challenging because of the heavy traffic during rush hours, the complex road system, congestion in the city, and looking for parking. Knowing how to deal with these situations is a sure way of saving time, money and fuel.

Driving in Atlanta Challenging

– The Complex Road System

As a major city, Atlanta has many highways and streets that can be overwhelming even for the Atlantans themselves. Getting to one’s destination can take you through several routes, which will lengthen your journey and waste your fuel. Thus, it is best to use a GPS if you want the shortest route to help you get to your destination faster.

You should also look out for road signs as many of the streets are one way, which could take you further from your destination. If you happen to drive through Atlanta, then watch out for one-way streets and use them to your advantage.

– The Stressful Traffic

Another factor that makes driving in Atlanta challenging is the traffic jam in the mornings and evenings, which can be stressful. If you must drive through heavy traffic, add at least an extra hour to your schedule. This way, you won’t be late nor would your trip be delayed.

One way to cope with the heavy traffic in Atlanta is to listen to your favorite music or podcast while you wait for the cars ahead of you to move. Music is especially better because it relaxes your nerves and puts you in a good mood. Alternatively, you can download the audiobook version of that book you’ve been dying to read.

You can also save fuel by sticking to the speed limit and obeying the road signs. Also, gently accelerating and applying the brakes would help you save about 10 percent to 40 percent on fuel. Drive more sensibly to avoid situations where you’ll need to sharply accelerate or step on the brakes.

– The Tedious Parking Situation

Looking for where to park your vehicle in Atlanta can be very tedious. Don’t be surprised if you’d have to drive several minutes before locating a place to park your vehicle.

Tedious Parking Situation

This is common with most big cities across the states, thus you’d have to exercise some patience as you look for parking. The best way to get around this is to use GPS to help you out.

Frequently Asked Questions

– What Is the Best Way To Tour Atlanta?

The best way to tour the city of Atlanta is by Atlanta’s public transportation system known as MARTA. The company operates both buses and trains that take you around the city and into some suburbs. Another way to get around the city is by bicycle, if you’re fit enough.

What Are the Best Times to Drive Through Atlanta to Avoid Traffic?

Planning your commute in Atlanta? If you want to breeze through the city without getting stuck in traffic, consider these driving test preparation tips. To avoid heavy congestion, aim to hit the roads before 7:30 a.m. or after 10:00 a.m. during weekdays. Additionally, plan your return journey before 4:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m. Be mindful of rush hours and make your travel more efficient.


Driving through Atlanta during rush hours can be challenging, which is why this article has covered the best times and tips to get you through the city.

Here is a summary of all that we’ve talked about so far:

  • The best time to drive all the way through Atlanta is between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and between 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day.
  • The worst time to drive through Atlanta is between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., which are the Atlanta rush hour times.
  • However, if you happen to be caught in traffic, put on some soothing music or listen to the audiobook version of your favorite novel or self-help book.
  • To avoid traffic, use apps to map out roads that are less traveled but would certainly get you to your destination.
  • It usually takes 2.5 minutes per mile to travel through Atlanta, therefore, if you travel say 25 miles, that would take you 50 minutes.

To save gas while you’re in traffic, avoid sharp acceleration or braking as these actions will increase your fuel consumption. Driving in Atlanta is not that bad; just be sure to look out for sharp turns and road signs and you’ll be fine.

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