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What to do before you hit the road for the holidays

Expert: Tires, wipers key to safe travel during holiday season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gas prices are low, and holiday travel by car is expected to rise.

Around 90 million people will be on the roads this holiday season, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

A local car expert offered three tips for things travelers need to do before they hit the road.

According to Aaron's Car Care, taking care of tires is one of the most important things, especially before drivers get on the highway.

"We are putting a lot of weight in the car, the family is going to be in the car, luggage, gifts, what have you," said Aaron Nelson of Aaron's Car Care. "It's important we check the tire, make sure it's inflated to the proper air pressure. Be sure that the tread is good."

And one thing most people overlook: be sure tires aren't outdated.

"With the extra weight that can become an issue," Nelson said.

Another issue is bad wiper blades. Those can equal poor visibility, and with rain on the way, inspecting them to make sure they wipe smoothly is key.

Lastly, don't forget about the spare tire.

"It's important that the spare gets checked, and be sure it's aired up to the proper air pressure, because heaven forbid that you need the spare and you go for it and you have not one flat, but two," Nelson said. "That would be a very bad thing."

The FDOT said it's also important to be aware of your surroundings. While there's no construction going on in the next few weeks, it's important to be aware of the lane changes that are happening and the speed limit signs.

"The Overland Bridge Project south of the Fuller Warren downtown is certainly confusing as you travel through there, which is why we have speed limits of 45 mph," said FDOT spokesman Ron Tittle. "That's by design, because people need to slow down enough to be able to read the signs. And we know that people will be coming up behind you, so just be aware of what's around you."