Many plan to drive for gatherings
• Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
• Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition.
• Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
• Pack a cell phone programmed with emergency, road service and other critical numbers, as well as blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
• If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.
• Don't over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
• Make sure the exhaust pipe isn't clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
• Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
• If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.
AAA is offering its Tipsy Tow Program for drinking drivers from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. on Friday. Members and non-members can call (800) 222-4357 for a free tow of up to 10 miles. Tell the AAA operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow.”
Californians are hitting the roadways for the holidays — but not the airways.
For the fourth straight year, the AAA survey shows a steady climb in the number of people traveling for the Thanksgiving weekend.
The primary destinations are to spend the holidays with family or friends, though vacationing is on the survey list, AAA reported.
An estimated 5.4 million Californians plan to travel 50 miles or more, a modest increase of 0.6 percent over last year's survey.
"After several years of economic uncertainty, Californians are well-versed in budgeting so they can gather with family and friends to celebrate holidays together," AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris said in a statement.
Of the traveling population, the survey shows that more than 4.7 million Californians are projected to travel by motor vehicle during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a 0.5 percent increase over 2011.
Families who travel by car are likely to drive an average of 887 miles over the four-day weekend, and a family of four is forecast to spend about $767, AAA reported.
However, nearly 2 percent fewer travelers will fly despite lower holiday fares, AAA reported.
The survey indicates more than 548,000 holiday travelers are predicted to fly, a decrease of 1.8 percent from last year.
Approximately, 169,000 state residents are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, such as boats or trains. This represents an increase of 11 percent when compared to last year's figures.
Nationally, AAA forecasts that more than 43 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the four-day weekend. This represents a 0.7 percent increase.