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Hitting The Road This Thanksgiving? Be Prepared

Before you dig into piles of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, you may have to deal with traffic, crowds and wintry weather. The holiday season is officially here, and it’s shaping up to be a packed one.

Scary Stats

The Automobile Association of American just released its Thanksgiving travel stats: A record 50.9 million Americans are slated to hit the road, rails and skies — the highest travel volume since 2005.

Adding to that insanity is a chilly forecast for much of the country. The Weather Channel is reporting lots of cold temps and rain, with the potential for skidding vehicles on slippery roads.

Get Prepped

Think you’re good to go because you’ve got all-season tires? Not so fast, say the tire gurus at Michelin. The company just released the findings of its winter driving survey, revealing some widely believed myths related to cold weather driving.

The company found that the all-season tires most new cars are fitted with are not a fix-all for driving conditions. In the survey, Michelin found 3 in 5 drivers (61 percent) say they’ve lost control of their car in winter weather. With all that slipping and sliding, it’s no shocker 3 out of 4 Americans say they’re nervous driving in winter weather.

Michelin also found that two-thirds of winter drivers do not have winter tires, 70 percent of winter drivers falsely believe all-season tires work just as well as winter tires in cold weather (as long as there’s no snow on the ground), and over 50 percent of drivers feel you don’t need winter tires if you have 4- or all-wheel drive.

The company suggests installing winter tires when the temperature consistently approaches freezing, checking the air pressure every month and adjusting it when the temps begin to drop.

Due Diligence

Before heading out, Michelin also advises going over your route and checking road conditions, updating your emergency contact list in your mobile phone and checking your fluids — make sure you always have at least half a tank of gas in order to avoid a frozen fuel line. It’s also a good idea to carry extra windshield washer fluid to ensure proper visibility.

A happy Thanksgiving starts with a safe journey. Expecting the best while preparing for the worst will never steer you wrong.

For more of Michelin’s winterizing tips, check out the Winter Weather Guide at MichelinMan.com.

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