Experts recommend adjusting holiday travel plans ahead of winter storm

NOW: Experts recommend adjusting holiday travel plans ahead of winter storm

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind., --- A powerful winter storm expected to make its way to Michiana could impact lots of folks planning on hitting the road for the holidays. ABC57 spoke with an expert who shared some safety tips if you still plan on leaving to see friends and family.

“Snow is kind of like inevitable around here. I'm from Michigan so it's a lot worse like up near Detroit. I guess it's something I'm used to but it's something I don’t particularly enjoy,” said Alexander Drutis.

Drutis is a Notre Dame graduate student heading home ahead of the storm expected to slam Michiana just days before Christmas.

He said leaving Monday was the best option for him.

“I ran into some black ice a couple days ago and I realized I’m horrible at driving in the snow, so I think it's good I'm getting it over with when it's no snow.”

With upcoming holiday travel expected to near pre-pandemic levels, Drutis joins nearly 113 million Americans predicted to travel, including 2.5 million Hoosiers, -- 90% of which by car, according to AAA.

But with a powerful winter storm expected to make its way to the area late this week, experts recommend thinking twice about your plans.

“If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out if the roads seem unsafe and icy. This just may be the year that you stay home and celebrate the holiday with immediate family,” explained Molly Hart, a spokesperson for AAA.

Although Hart urged folks to stay home if conditions become too dangerous, she still offered advice for those who may need to hit the road or take to the friendly skies.

“It looks like the blizzard is expected to hit on Thursday and if you do have the opportunity to leave a day or two early, you might want to take into consideration.”

“For those heading to the airport, especially with this bad weather we’re expected to see, we really recommend getting there three hours in advance. Sometimes we say two but we just don’t know what’s going to be happening,” she added.

Whether it be in the skies or on the road, Hart is advising everyone to be extra cautious and be prepared if they’re traveling for the holidays.

“Extra blankets, mittens, and hats, and also abrasive material, cat litter or sand in case you get stuck on an icy patch,” she said. “For the driver, put that cell phone down and we want to make sure that people do not tailgate. Also, no aggressive driving and you probably might not be doing the speed limit due to the snow.”

Again, you’ll want to also make sure you have an emergency and first aid kit, jumper cables, ice scrapers, and any other necessary items in your car, especially when driving in any potential inclement weather.

Click here for more safety travel tips.

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