Those traveling for the holidays should keep in mind wet weather is expected across Southern California. Drivers should leave early for their destinations, anticipate delays due to increased traffic and prepare vehicles ahead of any trip.
AAA anticipates a very busy week for travel: 9 million people in California alone will be traveling from Saturday December 21st through January 1st.
“Across the state of California, during the eleven day travel period we anticipate coming to roadside rescue of more than 260,000 stranded drivers,” said Doug Shupe, a representative from AAA.
Shupe added that if you do begin to have trouble with your car while on the road, it’s best to pull over on the right side of the road and remain inside your car and call for help.
As a preventative measure, however, drivers should make sure all cars are in good working order prior to leaving home. “You want to check the tire tread and inflation. Check your battery, also check your belts and hoses for any cracking or fraying,” Shupe added.
Sergio Ceballos, the co-owner of Sergo's Automotive here in the valley, says it's also important to take extra steps if you'll be traveling to an area with snow. You'll want to make sure your car has the proper ratio of anti-freeze to coolant, to prevent problems with your engine.
"What happens in colder climates is they could freeze over. Various components of the vehicle could be damaged from freezing over," he said.
It's also a good idea to check if your windshield wipers are working and pack snow chains or cables ahead of any mountain trip. Ceballos said most valley cars are not equipped to handle the icy conditions without them.