Millions of people are set to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday this week. Here are the best and worst times to travel and how you can stay safe on the roads.
PHOENIX — The holiday season has arrived and 12News is focusing on an attitude of gratitude, because we are now less than a week away from one of the most delicious times of the year, yes, Thanksgiving turkey dinner with loved ones.
But it’s also one of the busiest times of the year for travel, in the air and on the roadway. If you’re not careful, you could get caught up in delays and traffic jams.
Experts shared with 12News the best and worst times to hit the road for Thanksgiving and some of the safety must-checks to keep in mind before you head out.
More than 4.7 million people will be flying for Thanksgiving this year. That’s the most since 2005, according to AAA’s travel forecast. Another 49 million are expected to drive.
And more than 55 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, the third highest forecast since AAA started tracking the travel stats in 2000.
“My family will be here, my in-laws, my dad, and I just absolutely love everybody coming together,” said Ashley Salinas, one of the assistant service managers at Yates Buick GMC in Goodyear, where the team is on standby for anyone that needs a last-minute vehicle check-up, before they put some major miles on their car.
“We want to make sure everything is okay,” said Salinas. “You never know if you’re going to need some parts or if there’s something that is going to be addressed right away.”
Along with checking your travel route, she says to make sure your car’s battery is in tip-top shape.
“Make sure your tire pressures are on point, make sure you’ve got extras in the car if you need blankets or water or anything like that,” Salinas added.
Overall, it’s important to be proactive and pack an emergency backup kit just to play it safe.
“The five things we check for is always going to be your battery, your filters, make sure your fluids are topped off, and at a good level,” said Andres Hernandez, one of the certified technicians. “More things would be your belt, make sure everything is still plugged in, there’s no tears, rips, or anything like that, that would cause an immediate concern and that’s just to scratch the surface.”
Hernandez says they also have a whole under-car inspection they look at.
“We want to make sure people get home safely for the holidays,” he said.
According to Google Maps’ insights, the ideal time to kick off Thanksgiving travel is Monday after 8 p.m. Thanksgiving travel traffic is expected to be the worst on Tuesday and Wednesday after 4 p.m. and the peak traffic time on the Sunday after Thanksgiving will be from 4-8 p.m.
So, if you’re in need of a car check-up and you’re on a time crunch, Salinas says they will do everything as quickly as they can for you, to ensure you and your loved ones get to where you’re going safely this holiday season.
While road delays are at their worst across most major cities the day before Thanksgiving, it’s the Sunday after the holiday when most airports are the busiest. That’s when a new travel record could be set. TSA expects to screen nearly 3 million people on November 26th.
For more information on Google Maps trends, go to: https://blog.google/products/maps/google-maps-trends-holiday-travel-shopping-/
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