AAA: 2014 Holiday traffic will be highest since 2001
Bronx residents planning to travel by vehicle for the holidays definitely won't be alone as they hit the roads. AAA expects holiday travel to reach the highest level since 2001.
About 98.6 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holidays over the next two weeks. While about 6 percent of those people are expected to fly, nearly 91 percent are expected to travel by vehicle, according to AAA.
AAA expects car travel to be up more than 4 percent this year compared to 2013. Experts attribute the increase to lower gas prices.
With more vehicles on the road, officials want drivers to keep safety at the top of mind, especially with wet conditions in some parts of New York on Wednesday. AAA says it expects to rescue about 1.1 million drivers alone from breakdowns over the holidays. This includes dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts.
To keep safe, officials say drivers should take their vehicles in for a checkup before getting on the road because even simple maintenance, such as replacing windshield wipers, can make a difference.
Mapping routes ahead of time and having a working GPS, whether on a phone or a standalone unit, is also helpful.
Other advice includes giving children whistles to use at bathroom rest stops in case a stranger approaches.
Travelers should keep their cellphones close and charged.
And, of course, experts say avoid leaving during rush hour if you can.