A Not-So-Smooth Sleigh Ride Ahead – Whipping Wind, Flooding Rain to Impact Holiday Travelers, Shoppers
AAA urges safety first as storm dampens the start to the holiday season for many; travelers may have to alter plans; shoppers should proceed with caution on the roadways.
PHILADELPHIA, PA, (December 20, 2018) – ‘Twas the weekend before Christmas and a super-soaker storm is likely to dampen last-minute holiday shopping and holiday travel. As the long holiday weekend gets underway, commuters, shoppers and travelers will all converge on area roadways causing traffic backups and congestion. Traffic will be compounded by whipping winds and flooding rains, beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing throughout the day Friday, causing poor road conditions and visibility.
AAA is projecting record holiday travel volume in the coming days, however travel plans may have to be adjusted due to the impending storm.
“AAA urges holiday shoppers and travelers to use caution when navigating the roads Thursday night and throughout the day Friday,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Slow down, do not drive through standing water, and alter your travel plans if necessary. Postponing holiday travel plans could be the safest option.”
Motorists will not be the only travelers affected by the heavy downpours and potential thunderstorms. Air travelers will also feel the impact of this storm with likely flight delays and cancellations, as the storm impacts air travel throughout the Southeast and up through the Mid-Atlantic.
AAA Wet Weather Holiday Travel Tips
- Road travelers – postpone holiday road travel until the storm has passed locally and at your holiday destination – check weather to be sure your route will be storm-free; allow plenty of extra time.
- Air travelers – check with airlines before heading to the airport, as the storm will likely impact air travel up and down the east coast; allow for extra travel time to and from the airport.
AAA Wet Weather Driving Tips
AAA Driving Tips:
- Sign up for emergency alerts – alerts are often provided by agencies like the National Weather Service and can help notify you when there is a risk of flooding.
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your car and potentially stall your engine. Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads. Turn around; find another way to get to your destination. Pull over to a safe location if needed.
- Never drive through standing water - Standing water can be deceiving and motorists should avoid it. No matter how shallow it may appear, water may be concealing downed power lines, be deeper than it appears, or have significant force from flooding, etc.
- Turn on headlights. When windshield wipers are in use, headlights must be turned on. It’s the law in Pennsylvania and surrounding states for a reason – allows motorists to see and be seen during inclement weather.
- Watch for hydroplaning - No car is immune from hydroplaning on wet surfaces, including four-wheel drive vehicles. Even if brakes work under normal conditions that doesn’t mean they will react the same on slippery roads where tires roll with less traction. Also, turn off cruise control as it can cause hydroplaning.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. 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.