Motorists crawled along the I-95 corridor Saturday as a smattering of accidents slowed already sluggish holiday traffic, authorities said.
Troopers from Prince George's County to Cecil County reported roadways more crowded than normal as the end-of-year travel season got underway.
Traffic was stop-and-go and averaging only 25 miles an hour most of the day, Watkins said, adding that an accident "makes it even worse."
A five-car crash on the northbound lanes just before the bridge connecting Harford and Cecil counties backed up cars for 3 miles around 6 p.m. Saturday evening, Watkins said. There were no major injuries.
AAA Mid-Atlantic predicted 1.7 million Marylanders would travel by car between Saturday and Jan. 1. About 90 percent of all Maryland travelers are expected to use highways for the year-end holiday season, AAA said.
In Howard County, both directions were slow before an accident on the northbound side near Route 175 around 4 p.m. In Baltimore and Prince George traffic moved steadily but more slowly than an average Saturday, officials said.
"It's just been heavy all day, probably just the pre-holiday Christmas shopping rush, we're figuring," said Cpl. Harrington, a state police trooper at the College Park barracks who declined to give his first name.
Watkins, in Perryville, said troopers expected the traffic to begin to slow after 8 p.m., based on historical patterns.