‘You think you are leaving early, but it is never early enough’

Remember the good old days of traffic, when backups, congestion, and delays were confined to what now seems like the quaint notion of “rush hour’’?

These days the endless lines of brake lights are striking earlier and later — often seemingly at random — and in the process upending vacation patterns, triggering spousal tension, and forcing families to leave their homes at 5 a.m. for a day at the beach, as if they were fleeing the law.

“I don’t even know when ‘rush hour’ is anymore,” said John Paul, a spokesman for AAA Northeast.Read the entire article on The Boston Globe