Taking a road trip for the holidays? You’re not alone. The U.S. Department of Transportation says the Christmas/New Year’s holiday is one of the busiest for long-distance travel, next to only Thanksgiving.
And more than 90 percent of those people who are traveling long distances are taking their cars, the DOT says.
So what’s a driver to do? Florida’s Turnpike offers these tips if you’re taking the toll road to visit family or friends.
Avoid the busiest times: According to a news release from the turnpike, the busiest driving times for holiday travel will be 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 23, 26 and 30 and Jan. 2. These normally busy rush hour periods could be even more congested as holiday travelers compete for space with daily commuters.
Check your tires: Tire safety is key for a long road trip, regardless of when you travel. Check your tire pressure and make sure your tread isn’t too worn down.
Get a free cup of coffee: Each turnpike service plaza will offer free coffee during four “Free Coffee Safety Breaks” over the holidays. Get the dates and times here.
Service plaza construction: The Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce plaza construction still is underway, and parking is limited. All of the plaza’s services are available, but motorists should be patient when looking for parking and slow down when driving through the plaza’s parking areas.
FL511 app: The state’s FL511 app offers real-time updates on the turnpike and other highways in Florida. Motorists can plan a route and check for crashes ahead.