Consumer Alert: Travel over the July 4th holiday is expected to break records. Have you checked your tires?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – This consumer alert is all about the big travel weekend. AAA expects travelers to break records over the 4th of July holiday. And AAA leaders believe the number of travelers will exceed pre-pandemic records. In 2019, 49 million people hit the road, air, and railways. This year they’re expecting 50.7 million. And of those, 43.2 million will be traveling by car.

Surprisingly, gas prices have been steady over the last month.  The average is $3.73 in Rochester and the state average is $3.69.  But AAA expects that price to creep up as we get closer to the holiday, likely around Thursday.  They say make sure to have your car inspected before you hit the road.  And AAA gave us a great way to make sure your tire has enough tread.

“To check your tire and tread depth, you can use the upside-down coin trick,” advised Todd Ingraham, fleet operations manager of AAA of western and central New York.  “Take your coin, put it into the tire tread.  If part of the president’s head is covered by the tread, then you’re good to go. Your tire has adequate tread depth.  But if you can see part of his head, it’s now tire time.”

In the picture below provided by AAA, a quarter was used. And part of the president’s head was covered, indicating the tire had adequate tread.

Government data indicate worn tires are three times more likely to be in a crash. And this happens to be tire safety week, so a reminder for readers think PART when thinking about tire care.  PART stands for pressure, alignment, rotation and tread.

if you’re hitting the road on Friday, the worst time to be on the road is between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. If it’s Saturday, try to hit the road long before noon. AAA has predictions for the best time to be on the road throughout the holiday.  See below for the document.

Air travel is expected to set records as well with more than 4.1 million folks hitting airports.  Your best bet is to get to the airport at least two hours early.