Holiday travel tips: What to know before you leave

More than 54 million people are expected to be traveling this Thanksgiving, but a local travel expert is offering advice to keep drivers safe.

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 7:02 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 7:32 PM

UTICA, NY-- More than 54 million people are expected to be traveling this Thanksgiving, but a local travel expert is offering advice to keep drivers safe.

"Tomorrow is the heaviest day of the travel season," said Ed Welsh, Northeast general manager of AAA. "A lot of people have to work and a lot of people aren't going to get away until Wednesday and of course working all day then hopping in the car having it be dark at 5 o'clock, drowsy driving is a big problem this time of year. We also recommend people don't to go more than 100 miles without stopping get out of the car walk around and stretch your legs."

Welsh said no matter the distance of travel, drivers should dress for the weather outside.

"Imagine if you just left your house in short sleeve thinking I'm only going to drive a few miles and something happens and....you have no heat and next thing you know you're sitting there in 20° weather without a coat, it does happen. So you have to be just as careful about your planning for short trips as well as long trips."

This week travelers will be dealing with snow and bitter cold temperatures.

"We're going to get several smaller storm systems move through the area, " said Jill Reale, meteorologist at WKTV. "It's not going to be like what we saw on Friday where we saw a lot of heavy snow it's going to be light snow, but it could be enough where we see a little bit tricky travel. The other big story of course is actually Thanksgiving, a cold front moves in on Wednesday so by Thursday probably the coldest temperatures we've seen in over 6 to 8 months were talking about highs in the teens."

Welsh said that AAA is expected to provide some sort of assistance to 330,000 travelers, from jump starting batteries, to fixing flat tires or helping someone who gets locked out of their car.

"With these new cars many don't have ignition keys anymore and you just get in the car you kind of leave the keys and hit the button and away you go without putting that key in the ignition anymore," he said. "So a lot people get out close the door, next thing you know the car is locked, so keep your keys in your pocket it's probably a good rule. Obviously you want to check all your tire pressure before you go, also a good time to switch out your washer fluid summer stuff will freeze."

Welsh added people should remember it's better to get to the destination safely, rather than quickly.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2392060

Reported Deaths: 55066
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31909610743
Queens30607510153
Suffolk2281703519
Nassau2071043257
Bronx2021556693
New York1619224606
Westchester1409342328
Erie992591884
Richmond858401905
Monroe782541156
Orange54619887
Rockland50943769
Onondaga45981715
Dutchess33827485
Albany28513368
Oneida25899552
Niagara22183383
Broome21898385
Saratoga18468191
Ulster16373271
Schenectady15325216
Rensselaer13364154
Putnam1187096
Chautauqua10980157
Oswego9667101
Chemung9112146
St. Lawrence8975118
Ontario856998
Steuben8489160
Cayuga7942101
Sullivan782781
Jefferson752171
Wayne701378
Cattaraugus675098
Genesee6097131
Herkimer6030117
Tompkins597459
Clinton571634
Madison542698
Fulton532197
Livingston520467
Montgomery5112133
Cortland484070
Warren472576
Columbia4664108
Tioga443467
Chenango421286
Otsego417751
Allegany403893
Greene397283
Washington396763
Wyoming392354
Orleans367784
Franklin356416
Lewis321836
Delaware309041
Seneca248959
Schoharie208320
Essex195129
Yates140726
Schuyler128916
Hamilton4083
Unassigned13533
Out of NY0291
Utica
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 49°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 49°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 49°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Follow the 2021 Go the Distance Team - sponsored by Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
Chapter Photofacial Therapy Giveaway
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve