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Auto body shops help drivers prepare for holiday travel | News

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Auto body shops help drivers prepare for holiday travel

(WBIR) AAA expects 98 million people to travel this holiday season--about one in every three Americans. It is expected to be the highest travel volume since AAA started recording the data in 2001.

Two million will be spending time on Tennessee roadways.

With a record amount of travelers, some auto body shops in East Tennessee are seeing a boost in business.

Broadway Automotive & Alignment in North Knoxville stays busy year-round but it can get hectic right before any holiday.

"We've probably had 12 today already and it's right at 3:30 p.m.," said Terry Upchurch, an auto technician with Broadway Automotive & Alignment.

According to Upchurch, they typically see 6-10 vehicles per day.

"They'll come in a week early and say, 'I'm going to be traveling for Christmas, I want to get it checked now,'" said Upchurch.

According to AAA, this year's 98 million people traveling now until Jan. 4 is a 4% increase from 2013.

"If at all possible, take that least read piece of literature in the world--the car's maintenance schedule. Take a look at it and see where you are on that and see if it's possible to catch that up-to-date," said Don Lindsey, AAA Tenn. public affairs director.

AAA expects to rescue 1.1 million drivers.

"If you're stranded in a car, there's no guarantees. But usually the safest place to stay is with the car," Lindsey said.

Lindsey suggests drivers keep an emergency kit in their vehicles.

Upchurch hopes to help drivers avoid breakdowns that can be prevented.

"If you're going to go on a long trip we definitely need to check the belts. Gotta make sure your belts are good, tires are good, and all your fluids," Upchurch said.

Upchurch also recommends making sure drivers' windshield wipers work.

Christmas lands on a Thursday this year, giving one day longer than last year for the holiday travel season.


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