9 out of 10 holiday travelers are driving and 800,000 will likely be stranded

Posted by Julie Reynolds

Battery jump-starts and towing are most common road service.

Spending the last of the holiday season on the road? You’ll have a lot of company! AAA says you are one of 91.9 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more between Dec. 23, 2011 and January 2, 2012.

More people travel during the year-end holiday season than any other time of year, reports the motoring and leisure travel organization, and the transportation mode of choice is the automobile, by a landslide. Nine out of 10 holiday travelers will be on the roads. AAA estimates that 800,000 of them will run into trouble and need to be rescued.

“Always in anticipation of increased call volume we add dispatchers and put more tow trucks on the road,” says Mary Maguire, director of public and legislative affairs at AAA Southern New England.

Towing is the most likely service; with a battery jump-start a close second. Maguire recommends checking your battery to make sure it is in good working condition. “The average life of a battery is about 39 months, so if you know your battery is older you may want to pay some extra attention. If you’ve been having difficulty starting the car in the morning or on cold mornings, it may be worth replacing it.”

For those who enjoyed a long vacation and haven’t even started the car in a few days there may be an unwelcome surprise when it’s time to return to work.

Road icing is another concern during the winter. “Make sure you’re checking your tires this time of year,” Maguire says. “Put winter tires on if you need to, or check the condition of all-weather tires to make sure the tread is deep enough, in good shape and that they are properly inflated.”

The correct inflation can improve fuel efficiency in addition to increasing safety. “You want to make sure the tire is really grabbing the road,” she adds.

Maguire recommends keeping an emergency kit in the car with a flashlight and batteries, cell phone charger, jumper cables and a warning flare or reflective triangle. Water, hats, gloves, and blankets can be lifesavers in a roadside emergency.

For other safety tips and motoring information, visit AAA online.

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Posted by Julie Reynolds on Dec 29 2011. Filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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