Consumer Watch: Safety tips for Thanksgiving travel

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 20 at 6:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A whopping 43.6 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday and many of you are leaving one day, two days and even three days before Thanksgiving. Before you go Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen has your Consumer Watch.

Around 90 percent of people traveling over the Thanksgiving break will be driving and in parts of the country the weather, the traffic and the relatively inexpensive cost of gas will make for quite a trip.

Rena Wengerd is a Thanksgiving week travel pro, she and the kids are making the two hour drive to see loved ones in Indiana on Tuesday, to avoid the mayhem of motorists later this week.

“We like to get out early and spend time cooking with the family we’ll be eating with on Thanksgiving,” said Wengerd.

The Wengerd's join some 39 million others who will be clogging roadways this Thanksgiving holiday, but as the stress on the roads begins, there is relief at the pump. Gas prices went down 7 cents in the last two weeks, but still Thanksgiving carves out a week of worry on roadways. One study finds car crashes soared 25 percent during Thanksgiving last year and with all these families getting in their cars the number of incidents this week will skyrocket.

There are a few things you should look out for before you hit the road. Beth Mosher from AAA said that traveling on unfamiliar roadways, and not knowing the lay of the land, could be disastrous. She said to also be mindful of the clock.  5 to 7p.m. this week rush hour becomes high risk hour. There are 20 percent more fatal crashes during those hours on Thanksgiving week than other weeks.

Also, keep you eyes peeled for more deer in the headlights. November is the middle of the fall mating season, when the animals tend to roam.

According to experts, the best way to maneuver the roads this week is just like fixing a Thanksgiving feast, slowly and with lots of prep work.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to CONSUMERWATCH@WHAS11.COM.

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