If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving this weekend, it is important that you take adequate precautions to make sure you and your family members are safe. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 3.7 million Southern Californians are expected to take a car trip longer than 50 miles during the long weekend. And they’ll only be among the 55.3 million nationally who are traveling for the holiday.
Nightmare on the Freeways
About 49.3 million people around the country will take road trips. Experts are crediting a strong economy for a 2.9% overall surge in Thanksgiving holiday travel. As always, the day before Thanksgiving is said to be the worst day to travel. Car trips on this day typically take four times longer than normal in major metro areas. You can expect it to be worse in Los Angeles and much of Southern California.
According to the Los Angeles Times, you would be well-advised to avoid the Interstate 405 both northbound and Southbound from the 110 interchange to Roscoe Boulevard, the 10 east from Santa Monica to the Interstate 5 interchange; the 10 east from State Street to West Covina; and the 101 Freeway from California 170 to California 23.
You can blame the rise in population for some of the growing freeway crunches, researchers say. Congestion will be heavier than normal throughout the holiday weekend, they say. An unseasonably warm November is also likely to increase congestion around theme parks in Anaheim and Los Angeles. AAA says it expects to rescue 368,000 California motorists on the roadside for a variety of troubles from towing needs to tire and battery help. With rain in the forecast in Southern California, it is bound to be a busy weekend for law enforcement and towing companies.
How to Stay Safe
Here are some steps you can take to have a safe and truly happy Thanksgiving:
- Check your tires for wear and tire. Make sure all tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread.
- Check all fluids, especially oil, transmission and brake fluids.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition.
- Test and replace old or weak batteries.
- Carry a basic emergency kit with flashlights, emergency flares, blankets, food and water, and a first-aid kit.
- Finally, never drive while under the influence, while distracted or sleepy.