Experts anticipate record holiday travel

TOPEKA, Kan (KSNT)  –  A record number of drivers are expected to hit the road over the holidays. Experts anticipate over 8.2 million people traveling in the Midwest alone. This is a record for the region with 4 out of every 10 people expected to be on the road throughout the New Year.

“We really have to pay our full time and attention to driving, allowing extra time, making sure you’ve laid plenty of space between you and other vehicles,” said Jim Hanni, spokesperson for AAA of Kansas.

AAA of Kansas is advising drivers to be extra cautious over the holiday. Hanni said over 400 traffic fatalities have occurred in Kansas in 2016. He warns people to beware of impaired driving, which includes driving while drunk, drowsy or distracted.

According to Hanni, AAA of Kansas expects to respond to over 2,700 calls over the 11-day holiday period. Hanni said over half of those calls will be for dead batteries and tow service. While no one wants to imagine themselves stranded on the side of the road, Hanni said it’s important for drivers to be prepared.

“Having an emergency kit is a good idea. Putting together things that you might need in an emergency like extra gloves, blanket, things to keep you warm, non-perishable food and water. Also, make sure that you have a cell phone that’s fully charged,” said Hanni.

Drivers should also include a flashlight, jumper cables, an ice scraper and a snow shovel in their emergency kits. Before heading off drivers are advised to make sure their vehicle is mechanically sound by checking fluids and tire air pressure. Click here for more holiday travel safety tips.

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