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AAA says record number of travelers this holiday travel period

Wet roads

A record number of more than 115 million Americans are expected to travel over this holiday period. Of that number eight million are southern California residents planning to hit the dangerous and wet roadways.

“Slow down and calm down,” Anthony Holiday tells News Channel 3 to warn drivers who are traveling during the holidays.

“Wear your seat belt and keep your headlights on at all times,” Robert Wanless says while filling up his truck's gas tank after completing his journey from Arizona.

“I drove out here from Arizona and made sure that I got my oil changed in advance, tires rotated and tires pumped up and ample fluid for the windshield wipers.”

News Channel 3 spoke with an expert at AAA, who shares that they are gearing up for extra road rescues.

“Across the state of California during the eleven day travel period we anticipate coming to the roadside rescue of more than 260,000 stranded drivers,” Doug Shupe, a spokesperson for Auto Club of southern California said.

If you do find yourself experiencing car trouble, here's what Shupe recommends.

“Try to get off to the side of the road. The right side of the freeway and as far away from the lanes of traffic as you possibly can. Most safety experts agree that it’s best to stay inside your vehicle with your seat belt on and call for help,” Shupe said.

And remember this while you're driving:

“Obey the speed limit and of course don’t drive intoxicated, don’t drive intexticated. Remember that using those smartphones behind the wheel can have the same deadly outcome as alcohol impaired driving.” Shupe said.

According to the California Highway Patrol, at least 16 people were killed during holiday road travel last year.

Now looking at air travel, AAA tells us 768,000 southern California residents are expected to fly to a destination.

“Prepare to get to the airport at least three hours before international flights and at least two hours before domestic flights,” Shupe said.

There are 278,000 are expected to take another mode of transportation for the holidays like a train, bus or cruise.

According to a survey by AAA, the top destinations for southern California residents are Las Vegas being number one, followed by San Diego, the central coast being number three and the Grand Canyon number four and Mexico rounding out the top five.

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Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.

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