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Driving on Thanksgiving? What You Need to Know!

Is The Turkey Browned Enough?

Most commonly, we think of mom worrying in the kitchen about the turkey, if you will have marshmallows on your sweet potato casserole, or what to put in the stuffing this year. What we forget is to think about everyone making the drive to grandma’s house packed like sardines in a car full of family and friends, for what could be a long drive ahead.

 

Wednesday, a Popular Travel Day

If you want to take the stress out of the series of “Are we there yet?” leave a day early and book a hotel room for the night. Simply taking this small head start on your travel adventure can increase your traveling pleasure substantially. You may encounter traffic; however, you will have enough downtime between Wednesday’s drive and Thursday’s feast to recover. There is nothing like arriving at grandma’s house fresh with everyone wearing smiles. That is a priceless gift to yourself and the relatives that you don’t get to see very often. 

 

Avoid Mid-Afternoon Traffic

The most congested traffic is between 3:00 and 4:00 PM, so if you can get or stay off the road during that time of day, you are more likely to have a much smoother trip. We recommend timing your stops around 3-4 PM to stretch your legs or stop for a bite to eat. Morning travel is the best time in terms of low traffic volume, so if you and your crew can be packed and ready early in the morning, by all means, hit the road and avoid the crowds. Here is a tip for you, the best time to leave is at 6:00 AM. Traffic gradually increases all morning and usually will peak around noontime.

 

I’m Ready; how About My Car?

Now that you are ready to plan your drive, here are some preparations to think about. When was the last time you serviced your car and had a safety inspection performed? You will want to ensure that your fluids are all clean and filled to factory specifications, including your windshield washer fluid. Your car has brake fluid, radiator fluid, oil, and automatic transmission fluid to check out. How are your tires? It is crucial to make sure that they are properly filled. Take the time to look your tires over and see if there is any excessive wear and make sure the tread is even on all four tires. Most manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 miles. If you haven’t had your tires rotated recently, it is an excellent time to have your tires checked out by a professional. 

 

What to bring?

If you will be in your car for any period of time, it is essential to have provisions for that just-in-case we never plan to have happened. Packing some snacks and extra water along for the trip can be a lifesaver, especially with children in the car. Do you have a first aid kit? If you don’t already have one, it is a good idea to pick one up; they are not too expensive and are extremely handy to have when someone has a headache or a cut themselves, you won’t need to make a big detour. Your cell phone will get your where you need to be, as long as you have phone service; however, there is nothing like a paper map in the glovebox to ensure you won’t be lost for long, even if you are out of range.

 

On The Road Checklist

Are you packing fido along for the drive to grandmas? If so, consider buying a safety harness or putting them in a crate for safety. Keeping your pets secure while traveling has multiple benefits, such as keeping them safe in case of an accident, as well as reducing distractions and unnecessary messes in the car.

Be sure to buckle up, there are sure to be many other people heading to Thanksgiving on the road, and we all know how important it is to get there safely. Follow traffic signs. It takes extra patience; however, the small amount of time it takes to follow the rules of the road can mean the difference between arriving at dinner on time and a terrible accident. As always, put away your cell phone when driving, and ask your passenger to man the device for you instead. Not only will that build a stronger relationship, but it will also improve the safety of all in your car and those around you.

 

When you are planning your thanksgiving road trip, be sure to schedule an appointment with John’s Automotive Care in La Mesa. Our qualified auto mechanic team provides thorough professional auto repair services, and our entire team prides themselves on keeping you updated throughout your service. Customers from Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, El Cajon, Rancho San Diego, Santee, & Hillcrest have come to trust our commitment to quality auto repair. If your vehicle needs preventive maintenance or repairs, call John’s Automotive Care, or schedule an appointment online with us today to experience the JAC (John’s Automotive Care) difference. We are located at 7447 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91942.

We look forward to your visit!

 

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