Thanksgiving travel: What to know before you hit the road

Holidays

TAMPA, Fla. (WLFA) – More than 55 million Americans plan to travel 50 miles or more over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA.

Here in Florida, about 2.6 million people are expected to hit the road.

AAA says many travelers will drive to their destinations on Wednesday, making travel time longer than normal in major cities.

You also want to make sure to check your car before you head out on the road for Thanksgiving. AAA gives this advice for what you need to check in your car before traveling:

  • Check your tire pressure and tread. Inspect all four tires and the spare (if you have one). Look for cuts, gouges or sidewall bulges. Check the tire tread by inserting a quarter upside down between the tread. If you can still see the top of George Washington’s head, you need new tires. Check tire pressure before driving. Inflate to the manufacturer’s specifications. 
  • Listen to and feel the brakes. If you hear a grinding sound or feel a vibration when applying the brakes, get them professionally inspected. If a repair or replacement is needed, use the Repair Cost Estimator to help anticipate costs. 
  • Secure and test the battery. Have a service professional check your battery to determine the remaining capacity. Ensure the cable connections are clean and tight, and the hardware is secure.
  • Top off engine oil and other fluids. Ensure engine oil, coolant and brake transmission, and power steering fluids are all at the correct levels for safe vehicle operation. 
  • Replace wiper blades and replenish windshield cleaner fluid. If wipers streak or fail to clear the windshield thoroughly, it’s time for new blades.
  • Check belts and hoses. Replace belts that are cracked, glazed or frayed. As a general rule, drive belts should be replaced every 60,000 miles. Also radiator hoses should not leak or be worn, brittle, or excessively soft.
  • Replenish emergency kit supplies. Kits should include a cell phone charger, car battery booster cables, flashlight and extra batteries, first-aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, emergency flares or reflectors, rain poncho, basic tool kit, duct tape, gloves and shop rags or paper towels.

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