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AAA: Holiday traffic in NYC will be the worst on Thursday

QUEENS — Traveling for the holidays? Thursday is supposed to be the worst day to head to your destination.

According to AAA, the worst day to travel in New York City is Dec. 20 between 9:30 – 10:30 p.m., where those hoping to get away for the holidays can see travel times nearly quadrupled.

AAA spokesperson Robert Sinclair said traveling today is going to be "the worst travel day."

"We're not even in the travel period yet, which is on the 22nd," he added, "We can expect a quadrupling of travel times."

AAA predicts more than one-third of Americans will travel this season. The expected record-breaking 112.5 million travelers should expect busy roadways and heavy foot traffic at airports.

Those traveling are advised to avoid traveling during peak commuting hours. If schedules allow, it may be better to leave early or after the morning commute.

About 102.1 million people are expected to hit the roads alone, which is about 4.4 percent higher than last year. The 6.7 million people who will travel by air this year is the highest level since in 15 years, which is 4.2 percent more than last year, AAA reports.

The weather may also put a damper on weather plans. A significant storm will approach the region Thursday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds.

Flood Watches and Wind Advisories have been posted as this storm will have the potential to bring torrential downpours and gusty winds. The timing of this couldn’t be any worse as it will also occurs on the Friday before Christmas when many people across the nation who are planning to head out and about.

Sinclair offered some tips to prevent traffic mishaps during your holiday commute on the road:

  • Check your tire pressure: Pressure fluctuates during the change of weather, which may cause flat tires.
  • Car batteries: Batteries are prone to losing about 30 percent at the freezing mark and nearly 60 percent at zero degrees. Make sure your batteries are full and keep a jumper cable handy in case you need it.
  • Reflectors: If you need to pull off to the side of the road, make sure you're seen. Have reflectors so passing vehicles know you're there.
  • Food and first aid: Pack a first-aid kit and make sure you have non-perishable foods with you in case injury comes.
  • Cell phone: Make sure your cell phones are charged to make calls during emergencies. Keep a portable charger handy too.
  • Oil and washer fluid: Keep extra oil and washer fluid in your car.
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