Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday where we get to come together with friends and family. But it can also be a very stressful time if you're hitting the road to see family.

AAA Michigan predicts about 1.6 million people will travel, a 14% increase from last year, but about 7% below pre-pandemic levels. Of those, 1.4 million will be hitting the road.

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AAA Michigan has a five-step checklist you should go through before you hit the road.

Let's Check Those Tires

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The most important thing to look for is that you have enough tread on your tires. The tread helps your vehicle maintain contact with the road. If you have low tread driving in rain or snow can be more difficult and at times dangerous. If your tire tread is low you should consider getting new ones before you head out.

You'll also want to make sure that you have proper tire inflation. As we head into the holidays the temperature can drop in Michigan which can have a direct impact on your tires being properly inflated. Low tire pressures affect braking distances and provide less responsive steering and handling. This can be especially dangerous when an emergency stop or sudden evasive maneuver is needed to avoid a collision.

Don't Forget The Battery

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Some symptoms of a dying battery to look out for include

Car hesitates or slowly cranks when you’re trying to start it

A grinding, clicking or buzzing sound when you turn the ignition

Dim headlights, especially when your car is idling

The battery warning light is illuminated

Corrosion, cracks, or bulges on your battery

Brakes Are Another Important Thing To Check

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Your brakes are the most important safety system in your vehicle. Brakes give you the ability to slow down or stop in an instant and can help you avoid a serious accident. Brakes that aren't well maintained and regularly inspected can let you down when you need them most.

Vehicle Fluids: Important One You Should Check

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Your car uses a range of vehicle fluids to help maintain everyday operations. From the basics like oil and coolant to complex chemicals like power steering fluid and hydraulic brake oil, there is a range of things to check and top off every once in a while.

Wiper Blades Are Often Overlooked But Very Important

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Windshield wipers are a small part of your car, but they have a big impact on your driving and overall safety. They remove rain, snow, dirt, pollen, frost, and other debris quickly and smoothly at the push of a button.

These five items are a great start and should help you have a safe and enjoyable drive to friends and loved ones this holiday season.

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