CINCINNATI, Oh. (Nov. 18, 2019) –Nearly 50 million travelers are making plans to hit the highways and byways this Thanksgiving holiday season with a trip of 50 miles or more away from home. This will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000, trailing only the record set in 2005. INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects Wednesday afternoon to be the worst travel period nationally, with trips taking as much at four times longer than normal in major metros.
The Thanksgiving holiday period is defined as Wednesday, November 27 to Sunday, December 1.
AAA suggests motorists have their vehicles checked out and tuned up to avoid finding themselves stranded at the side of the road. AAA is expecting to rescue 368,000 motorists nationwide during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period. Over the Thanksgiving holiday travel period last year, AAA’s Roadside Rescue Team came to the aid of more than 7,000 stranded motorists in the tri-state region.
AAA offers these tips to drivers who experience trouble along the way:
- Know your location: At the first sign of trouble, look around to determine the location. Look for mile markers or exit signs on highways, and street signs on surface streets.
- Go right: move vehicle off roadway and as far to the right as possible
- Alert other drivers: turn on vehicle flashers
- Stay put: remain in the vehicle and call for help immediately. When help arrives do not exit the vehicle, wait for the first responder to approach the vehicle with instructions.
Not all breakdowns can be prevented, but routine vehicle maintenance is the best way to avoid being stranded along the side of the road. “AAA recommends motorists use a simple checklist to determine their vehicle’s fall and winter maintenance needs,” said AAA|Bob Sumerel Tire & Service District Director, Troy Cox. “Many of the items on the list can be inspected by a car owner in less than an hour, but others should be performed by a certified technician.”
To help drivers prepare for winter, AAA is offering free bumper-to-bumper vehicle maintenance inspections at all tri-state area AAA|Bob Sumerel Tire & Service locations and AAA membership is not required.
Vehicle owners should read the maintenance requirements set by the car’s manufacturer in the owner’s manual. There is no longer a “standard” maintenance schedule for vehicle services – including brake fluid. Each automaker has different requirements, making the owner’s manual the most accurate resource. In-vehicle maintenance reminders provide good guidance because they account for real-time problems and how you actually drive. However, many reminder systems do not specifically cover maintenance operations that need to be performed on a time or mileage basis – such as brake fluid and coolant flushes or timing-belt replacement.
Those planning to travel should check weather and road conditions before leaving home. Drivers should also keep an emergency kit in the vehicle with items including:
- Fully charged mobile phone pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services, and car charger
- Drinking water
- First-aid kit
- Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
- Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
- Snow shovel
- Extra warm clothing (coat, gloves, hats, scarves)
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Window washer solvent
- Ice scraper with brush
- Cloth or roll of paper towels
- Jumper cables
- Warning devices (flares or triangles)
- Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
Many of the winter emergency items listed above – plus pre-assembled multi-item kits including the 73-piece Explorer Road Kit and 66-piece Winter Safety Road Kit – are available, at a discount to AAA members, in the online store at AAA.com.
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.