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AAA releases Thanksgiving travel forecast and car maintenance tips

AAA releases Thanksgiving travel forecast and car maintenance tips
AAA releases Thanksgiving travel forecast and car maintenance tips 02:59

ATLANTA (WUPA) -- As thousands of drivers prepare to hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA has some important tips to avoid car troubles along the journey.

"Nothing will spoil your vacation more than being on the side of the road," said AAA Public Affairs Director Garrett Townsend.

When it comes to getting the jump on car maintenance ahead of Thanksgiving, technicians at AAA Car Care Plus on Roswell Road didn't have to tell some customers twice.

"Constantly having your battery checked when you bring it in for service, that's the most important thing you can do," said Marion Brown, the facility manager.

Mechanics offered several tips to make sure you don't get stranded, including checking your coolant levels.

"Coolant plays a role in how your heat work," said Brown, adding you should also make sure your lights and windshield wipers are working properly. "You never know when it's going to rain. We have downpours. You don't want the wiper blade to come apart on you."

Some of the biggest issues mechanics see during holiday travels involve tires.

"You want to make sure your tires are properly rotated, that way you'll have the proper wear between the tires in the front and the tires in the rear," he said.

Brown also says not to wait until the next holiday before getting your car checked.

"Preventive maintenance is the best thing you can do," said Brown.

AAA released its Thanksgiving travel forecast this week, which indicates 1.6 million Georgians are going to travel during the holiday period. This represents a roughly 2% increase over the Thanksgiving holiday period a year ago. 

"You're going to want to leave earlier because you're going to be competing on the road with all the other travelers that really have the same goal in mind," Townsend said.

The Thanksgiving holiday period runs from Wednesday, November 23, through Sunday, November 27. Townsend recommends either getting on the road before 8 a.m. or traveling in the evening.

AAA is also drawing attention to its "Move Over For Me" campaign, which is an extension of Georgia's "Move Over" law. It asks motorists to slow down and move over to the next lane when they see emergency vehicles helping a driver on the roadway.

"We don't want you just to slow down for when law enforcement or a tow provider is on the side of the road. What about the folks who break down and don't have assistance at that time," said Montrae Waiters, a public and government relations consultant for AAA.

The goal is to have all drivers, including AAA and contract workers arrive safely. For more travel safety and car maintenance tips, click here:

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