A road trip in a pandemic? Get your car checked first

The only thing worse than being stuck on the side of the road during a holiday trip is being stuck on the side of the road during a holiday trip in the middle of a pandemic, so AAA is encouraging drivers to get their vehicles checked out now.

Thanksgiving is a heavy travel season, and most of it is usually done by car, AAA said in a news release Wednesday. And between the dropping temperatures and surging coronavirus numbers, it’s more important than ever not to have any unscheduled stops.

That’s why AAA is telling drivers to get their batteries, engines and tires checked before they head out on a fall trip — and it wouldn’t hurt to have someone take a look at your belts and hoses too. You can schedule a free inspection at AAA Car Care Centers, the association said.

They also advised drivers to have plans for when and where they will stop in the middle of a trip, and to bring along enough protective equipment for gas and food stops. And while there’s never a good time to end up in the hospital after an accident, the COVID-19 pandemic is an especially bad time.

“Do everything in your power to safeguard your health and the well-being of others,” James Moore, manager of the AAA Fairfax Car Care Center, in the statement. “To mitigate the risks, plot every stop, including to gas stations, before setting out; prepare your vehicle; pack protective supplies; avoid traveling to high-risk areas; and drive safely to avoid ending up in hospitals already stretched thin by the pandemic.”

You can find the nearest Car Care Center location on the AAA site.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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