A slight rise in people traveling for the Thanksgiving weekend is expected. Experts say the increase is due to a boost in economy and lower gas prices. Gas is $0.71 lower this year in South Carolina and on average a gallon costs $1.88.
But before filling up, make sure to check your oil. We spoke with Jeffrey Richards, the General Manager at Honest One Auto Care. He said the number one thing people forget to do before they leave is change their oil.
“Oil changes seem to get left behind most of the time so we have a mad rush before the holidays to get their oil changed” Richards said. “And although that is an extremely important element to the maintenance of your vehicle, what people don’t realize is that there are a lot of other fluids working hard inside that car.”
He said all of those fluids need to be checked regularly. This is important because they protect the main components of your car like your engine, power steering and breaks. Richards points out that these checks are integral to a long road trip.
AAA projects that 660,000 South Carolinians will drive an hour or more from home, which is about a 1% increase from last year.
90% of the holiday’s travel is done on the roads and a study from the National Security Council shows that Thanksgiving is the 3rd most dangerous holiday to be on the road falling behind Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. They estimate that there will be 418 deaths across the United States over the holiday weekend, but they say seatbelts will save 153 lives. Fastening your seatbelt is just one of a couple of things that will lead to a safer trip. Richards lays out a check list for you to go through before you leave.
“First thing you want to do is check your tires,” Richards advices. “Keep your tires fully inflated. There are things like battery checks which you can do very easily by going to your local parts store. Make sure you’re checking that all your lights are working and operational. Make sure that your wiper blades are working in case you run into some bad weather. That’s real easy to check…just rub your finger on them and if you get rubber on them then it’s time to replace them.”
South Carolina State Troopers said they will be out from Wednesday to Monday looking for drunk drivers, speeding and not wearing seatbelts. They’re worried about the spike in deaths on the road in 2015. So far, 851 motorists have been killed this year, compared to 720 at this time in 2014.
We reached out to our viewers on Facebook and asked them for some of their own helpful tips. You guys had some good ones. Here’s a few.
One viewer had a remedy for the incessant… “Are we there yet?”…question from the kids. Create a paper chain link and hang it in the car. Every hour or half hour, break a link. That way the kids can see how much farther they have without asking.
Another viewer recommended downloading travel aps like Waze, iExit and GasBuddy. Waze is a GPS that gives you the best route. It also shows you what is up ahead like stalled cars or police officers. iExit tells you what is on the exit ahead. It shows you things like which restaurants have playgrounds to let the kids blow off some steam. GasBuddy takes you to where gas prices are the cheapest in your area.
A third viewer said her mom used to roll up blankets in the windows of the car to make “black out curtains.” That way they could not see out and would be so bored they would just fall asleep.