Thanksgiving Road Trip Tips

AAA projects this Thanksgiving as one of the highest volume of drivers on the road since 2007. A big reason for this is due to gas prices falling below $3 a gallon. In Chicago, it’s hard to avoid any traffic due to the volume of suburban residents and tourists driving in for the Parade. With the combination of large amounts of drivers in snowy weather can increase the risk of having a car accident.

At Spotlight Automotive, our number one goal is driver safety. We want to make sure you and your car are as safe as can be before hitting the road. So we gathered up 5 tips to keep you safe and avoid traffic.

1. Avoid The Parade

The parade is tomorrow from 8-11. Which means leaving early may not be any better than leaving later to avoid traffic. You can see from the above map that the parade starts at LaSalle and heads north towards Randolph. The main routes to get to the parade are Lake Shore Drive, 290, and 90/94. If you can, try and avoid these routes by taking local side roads if you are not planning on attending the parade. The less tourists on the road while you’re driving, the better.

2. Best Times For Driving

As previously mentioned, leaving earlier may not help you avoid traffic due to the Chicago parade. If you are planning on leaving the day before Thanksgiving, keep in mind that you are not the only one planning to do so. The evening before Thanksgiving day is one of the busier traffic times of the year. People will be getting out of work and tourists will be driving in for a long weekend stay. Driving at night may not be fun, but it is a great way to avoid the traffic saving you time and stress. Consider resting all day and not getting on the road until 9pm. It is important to make sure that you get plenty of rest before setting out on a long night drive, as fatigued driving creates a huge hazard on the road.

3. Don’t Eat Turkey….Yet.

Tryptophan is a real thing that is commonly found in Turkey. The chemical is what makes you sleepy shortly after consumption. Did you know that Tryptophan is also found in Pumpkin seeds, milk, and most legumes? If you are planning on driving from one family gathering to the next, keep in mind that you are eating food that will make you sleepy. Take frequent breaks on the road or always have caffeinated drinks on hand.

4. Have a Designated Navigator

Thanks to GPS in our cars and smartphones it is easier for us to find our destinations. It also means that we have more distractions on the road then ever before. Accidents from texting or while on the phone continue to increase. It only takes a split second of taking your eyes of the road for something to happen. If you are driving with a another person, have them navigate for you. Or turn up the volume on your GPS so that it will notify you of upcoming turns.

5. Inspect Your Car

Before you leave for your long commute, look over your car to make sure it is safe for driving.

  • Inspect the tires– Do they look low in air pressure? How good is the thread? The less thread a tire has the less traction you have in slippery situations.
  • Look for leaks– Do you notice any drips coming from your car? Check for puddles on the ground underneath your car to help check for leaks.
  • Look at fluids– Just because you don’t see leaks doesn’t mean your fluids are fine. Open up the hood to make sure you have enough washer fluid, oil, power steering, and coolant.
  • Safety & Comfort– Lastly, make sure all seat belts are working, airbags are turned on, and heat/defrosters are working.

This checklist will reduce any unexpected surprises during your Thanksgiving commute. Stay safe and have a happy Thanksgiving.

#happythanksgiving #roadtrip


Need a last minute oil change or service before hitting the road? Feel free to give us a call and set up an appointment.

Spotlightautoservice.com specializes in European auto repairs and maintenance. We strive to keep our service cost 40% less than dealerships. Schedule an appointment for your Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, or Volkswagen with us

Written by Developer Autoshop