Before setting out on the road this Thanksgiving, follow some of these tips provided by AAA to help ensure you arrive safely:
* Check the condition of the battery and tires before leaving.
* Have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop.
* Make sure to have a spare tire and jumper cables in the vehicle.
Here are some travel tips from the state Department of Transportation:
* In the event of a crash or breakdown, never get out of the car on a freeway unless your life is in imminent danger.
* Pull onto the nearest shoulder as far from travel lanes as possible.
* Call 511 or HERO assistance in metro Atlanta, or 911 for medical emergency service anywhere in Georgia.
FORSYTH COUNTY — An improved economic outlook and lower gas prices have come just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday travel surge, which may mean congested roads and people traveling farther to get to their turkey.
According to AAA forecasts, 46.9 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home this week, a .6 increase from last year and the highest projection in eight years.
While encouraging safe driving at all times, Forsyth County Sheriff’s officials said it’s important to remember safe practices during the holiday season.
“Buckle up at all times and drive the speed limit,” said Sheriff’s Cpl. Robin Regan said. “During holiday travel, we remind people not to drink and drive.”
In addition to driving sober, Regan said, motorists should make sure they are well-rested, particularly those traveling long distances.
“Also, with the busy shopping season, remember to lock your doors, and do not leave valuables and recently purchased items in plain sight,” he said.
To help with travel and shopping this week, the Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending construction-related lane closures from 5 a.m. today through 10 p.m. Sunday on interstates, major state routes and roads near major shopping areas.
Similar restrictions will be in place for Christmas and New Year’s.
This suspension does not include emergency lane closures that may be necessary.
Crews may still be working in proximity to highways and state routes, and safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures to remain in place.
Incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.
“We cannot overemphasize the need to slow down, drive alert and take every precaution to protect yourself and your passengers,” said Marc Mastronardi, a state construction engineer.
For updated information about travel conditions on Georgia’s interstates and state routes, call 511 for free or visit 511ga.org before heading out.
Gas prices should help fuel the travel bug this holiday period, which AAA defined as today through Sunday.
“Americans are especially thankful for what will likely be the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008,” said Garrett Townsend, spokesman for AAA. “These pump prices are helping to boost disposable income, making a Thanksgiving road trip more affordable.”
Gas prices are important to a majority of travelers. Of those making trips, nearly 42 million will drive.
“Americans largely prefer auto travel because it provides more control over expense, trip distance and duration,” Townsend said. “Auto travel volume tends to be evenly spread out over the five-day holiday, but airports are [really] busy on Wednesday and Sunday.”