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Tips to help Californians drive safe over the holiday weekend

Many San Diego residents are planning to travel tomorrow and throughout the weekend for Thanksgiving. In fact, tomorrow has been forecast to be the biggest travel day of the year by AAA, but a terrible winter storm may hinder the travel plans of millions of Americans, as flights are canceled and icy roads present car accident risks.

AAA estimated that 90 percent of this week's travelers will travel by car. As many as 38.9 million people were estimated to drive at least 50 miles away from their homes, and that is not counting those who planned to travel by air but may be forced to take the roads due to flight cancellations.

As road traffic increases over holiday weekends, as does the number of drunk drivers, the risks of getting into a car accident also rise.

The following are some tips that may help San Diego residents avoid becoming involved in car accidents this weekend:

  1. Make sure that your vehicle is well-maintained before embarking on a holiday road trip. Have your cars, inlcuding your tires, inspected.
  2. Map out your route in advance - even if you are not traveling far - to avoid having to fumble with cellphone navigation or GPS systems on unfamiliar roads. Advance planning can also help drivers prepare for poor traffic and weather conditions.
  3. Keep a cellphone and a cellphone charger with you, but do not become distracted by these items in the car. Keep a charged cellphone - and roadside contact numbers - ready for emergencies.
  4. Do not drink and drive. Make transportation or lodging plans in advance to avoid this.

By taking a couple simple steps to prepare, and by committing to driving responsibly, San Diego residents can help themselves and others travel safely this holiday season.

Source: Associated Press, "Travelers cast wary eye as storm moves eastward," Id Warren and TT Mayerowitz," Nov. 25, 2013

Source: AAA, "Holiday Road-Trip Survival Tips," Copyright 2013

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