Leave plenty of time for Thanksgiving travel

Build extra time into your trip so you don't have to speed or rush to make it on time.

The week of Thanksgiving is a busy time of the year to travel that's marked by a large number of people traveling to see loved ones. In 2017, AAA projected 50.9 million Americans would journey 50 miles or more from home on Thanksgiving. While many people look forward to seeing their loved ones, the sheer volume of cars on the road during Thanksgiving week makes it a dangerous time to travel.

A 2013 study examining the previous five years of data on traffic crashes in specific regions found that long weekends have 18 percent more deadly accidents than non-holiday weekends. Even still, other studies show that Thanksgiving is the most dangerous holiday for driving.

This Thanksgiving, drivers should make it a point to follow these tips to ensure they get to their destinations safely and soundly.

Check the forecast before you go

Weather can be unpredictable around Thanksgiving. Conditions may be sunny one day and then cold and icy the next. Stay up-to-date on the latest weather forecasts and road conditions as you prepare for your trip, making sensible decisions about traveling if there is inclement weather.

Get your vehicle inspected

Have your vehicle inspected in the days before you hit the road. A mechanic's diagnostic checkup and routine servicing, such as topping off fluids and changing windshield wipers, can make driving safer.

Keep your fuel tank more than half-full

Experts suggest keeping the tank full when temperatures are extremely cold. This is because condensation can build up in near-empty gas tanks, potentially freezing fuel lines and leaving you stranded.

Opt in for airline updates

Flights can be delayed or canceled when weather is poor. Many airlines will now text travelers who are subscribed to updates or frequent-flyer programs and apps. That's a convenient and free bonus.

Plan for stops

Drowsy driving and distracted driving are extreme dangers across North America. Take breaks to avoid drowsiness, and only use a mobile device when safely pulled over at a rest stop.

Leave plenty of time

There are bound to be many travelers come Thanksgiving week. Build extra time into your trip so you don't have to speed or rush to make it on time.

Thanksgiving is a big travel holiday. Make it to family dinner safe and full of smiles by following various safety trips during your travels.