The combination of rain, heavy traffic and minor crashes contributed to long delays on major roads at times late Tuesday, as thousands slowly lurched toward their Thanksgiving destinations.

Many travelers experienced relatively smooth trips, despite the adverse conditions, said a spokeswoman for the Maryland state highway administration. But the situation changed from moment to moment, and at 10:30 p.m., traffic on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway at Connecticut Avenue was moving at a sluggish 6 miles per hour, according to official information.

A major backup was reported about 8 p.m. in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near the border with Prince William County.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported that the backup was “due to congestion” and that it stretched for about seven miles.

In Fairfax County, traffic was moving slower than on a normal Tuesday night. A communications supervisor said it may have been the result of the rain, as well as people traveling for holidays and heading to malls for preholiday shopping.