AAA Offers Holiday Season Travel Safety Tips

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AAA Tips: How to Stay Safe When Stranded on Roadside

Tampa, FL - November 19, 2012 - Automobile travel remains the dominant mode of transportation for Thanksgiving travel plans. Approximately 90 percent of all travelers, or 39.1 million people, plan to drive to their destinations. AAA reminds drivers to utilize safety precautions and recognize "Move Over" laws in their respective state. This will help protect everyone on the roadways from stranded motorists to emergency response vehicles.

It is critical to have an action plan if you become stranded in oncoming traffic as result of a car crash or vehicle breakdown. An estimated 7,630 people died in motor vehicle related fatalities in the first quarter of 2012. That represents a 13.5 percent increase from the same time period in 2011, according to the National Highway of Traffic Safety Administration.

“When you are stranded on the roadside in oncoming traffic, some practices are safer than others,” said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, The Auto Club Group. “Regardless of if you are in a car crash or your car breaks down while you are driving, there are important actions you can take to help protect you and other occupants in your vehicle.”

Since every situation is unique, it is difficult to advise people to be safe in every scenario when they are in the path of oncoming traffic. AAA recommends stranded motorists call law enforcement immediately if they feel unsafe and are concerned other motorists may not see them.

“Everyone should pay attention and keep their eyes on the road to make sure they can respond quickly if they come upon a disabled vehicle,” said Gutowski.

AAA Tips: How to Stay Safe When Stranded on Roadside

Motorists stranded on the roadside should always take extra precautions to make sure everyone in their vehicle is safe, including:

Pull off to the right side of the road. Try to pull over onto the shoulder where you are NOT in danger of getting struck by traffic.
Turn on your hazard lights. Make certain your vehicle is visible to other drivers by turning on your vehicle’s emergency flashers. If your lights do not work, exit the vehicle.
Exit your vehicle opposite the side of oncoming traffic. If you exit your vehicle, wait as far away from it and traffic as possible. Try to stand on a sidewalk or behind a guardrail.
Call the police for assistance. If you are concerned for your safety and need assistance with traffic control, call local law enforcement for help.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 8.8 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois, Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 53 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

AAA Release: 43.6 million Americans are Projected to Travel for the Thanksgiving Holiday, a 0.7 Percent Increase from Last Year

Tampa, FL - November 13, 2012 - AAA projects 43.6 million Americans will take a trip of 50 miles or more away from home between Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 25. This represents a 0.7 percent increase from the 43.3 million people who traveled last year. Auto travel remains the preferred mode of transportation this Thanksgiving with 39.1 million Americans traveling via automobile, approximately 90 percent of all travelers.

Click here for the full Thanksgiving Travel report.

"Although leisure travel is forecast to make just modest gains from last year, it's still a positive sign to see growth for the fourth year in a row," said Brent Hubele, Vice President, AAA Travel, The Auto Club Group. "While the travel industry and those living in the Atlantic region are dealing with the devastating effect of Hurricane Sandy, our hearts and thoughts go out to those whose lives have been so deeply impacted.

"Holiday travel to those regions will most likely be more difficult than in previous years. AAA does not forecast any other major impacts to travel in and out of the lower Mid-Atlantic or Southeast regions."

Click here if local travel numbers are not visibile below.

Auto Travel:
AAA forecasts 39.1 million people will travel via automobile this year and represents a 0.6 percent increase from the 38.9 million who drove to their destination last year.
Gas prices are expected to decrease into the Thanksgiving holiday and are not expected to have a major impact on auto travelers.
Last Thanksgiving the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $3.32. The current national average is $3.44.

Air Travel:
AAA forecasts 3.1 million travelers will fly to their destination during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Air travel is expected to decrease 1.7 percent from the 3.2 million travelers who flew last year.
2012 represents the second consecutive year of declining air travel.
According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, Thanksgiving airfares are forecast to decrease, with the average lowest round-trip rate at $188 for the top 40 U.S. air routes, an 11 percent decrease from last year.

Other Means of Travel:
Other modes of travel (bus, train, watercraft) will make up 2.9 percent of the total travel volume.
1.3 million travelers are expected to travel by one of these other modes of transportation, which represents a 10 percent increase from last year.

Travel Distance:
Travelers intend to journey an average of 588 miles round-trip this Thanksgiving, a decline of 16.7 percent from last year when travelers logged an average of 706 miles.
Southeast travelers are forecast to journey an average of 525 miles round-trip.

Overall, travelers plan to spend $498 this upcoming holiday, 10 percent less than the $554 spent last year.
However, travelers in the Southeast expect to spend an average of $275 during their holiday trip.

Travel Dates:
Wednesday before the holiday is expected to be busiest travel day.
The majority of travelers plan to leave the Wednesday before the holiday (45 percent) and return the following Sunday (36 percent) with another 25 percent expecting to return on Monday, Nov. 26.

The Auto Club Group, the second largest affiliation of AAA clubs, offers travel, insurance and financial services to more than 8.4 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories. This includes Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois, Minnesota and Tennessee; and a portion of Indiana.

The Auto Club Group belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 53 million members in the United States and Canada, whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

AAA's projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

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