Rock Talk

NJ Roads Stuffed on Thanksgiving

Last updated on November 8, 2019 at 11:50 am

If you knew when everyone in NJ planned to travel this Thanksgiving, you’d be able to make sure you beat the turkey to the table instead of sitting on stuffed highways.

A New Jersey Thanksgiving travel study from Plymouth Rock details when residents plan to travel and how. According to the study:

  • 64% of NJ residents polled plan to travel less than 50 miles.
  • Most people polled plan to travel by car between 10 am and 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Of the NJ residents traveling on Thanksgiving Day:
    • 9% will travel between 6 am and 10 am
    • 45% will travel between 10 am and 1 pm
    • 42% will travel between 1 pm and 5 pm
    • The rest will travel later
  • 70% of all NJ residents polled plan to travel on Thanksgiving, while only 15% plan to travel the day before.
  • Driving is the most popular form of Thanksgiving travel, followed by airplane and then trains. Other forms of travel included walking, taking a cruise and taking a bus.

While many residents plan to drive to Thanksgiving gatherings, there are some typical oversights when drivers are getting ready for a trip. Nearly half of drivers polled have never changed a flat tire and 35% have never checked the condition of their spare tire. Nearly two-thirds of residents polled have had a dead battery, but nearly half don’t carry jumper cables.

Handling these common car problems isn’t overly complicated. Here are some general instructions for changing a flat tire and connecting cables to jump a dead battery. Make sure you always put safety first and ask for professional help if you’re not comfortable with these tasks.

Changing a Flat Tire

Consult your car’s owner manual to make sure there are no special considerations to follow when changing a tire.

These are the general steps to follow: make sure to park your car in a safe place, on a level surface, use your parking brake and emergency flashers, and turn off the car. Slightly loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire, but don’t take them off yet. Place your jack under the metal car frame (use extra caution with this step) and raise it. Remove the lug nuts and wheel. Now you can put on the spare. Loosely put the nuts back on and lower the car. Tighten the nuts by following a star-patterned order.

Connecting Cables to Jump a Dead Battery

Again, consult your car’s owner manual to see if there are safety instructions and to make sure there are no other special instructions to follow. Always use caution when working with your car’s electrical system and keep others away from the engine while jumping a battery.

Cables are generally connected in this order: attach a red-handled clamp to the positive (+) terminal on the dead battery. Then attach the other end of the red-handled clamp to the positive (+) terminal on the good battery. Attach the black-handled clamp to the negative (-) terminal on the good battery. Next attach the other end of the black-handled clamp to a piece of unpainted metal under the disabled car’s hood and away from moving parts.

Once the cables are connected, start the good car and let it run for several minutes before trying to start the disabled car. Disconnect the cables in reverse order.

Driving in New Jersey

If you’re driving in New Jersey this Thanksgiving check out our tips for being safe when leaves are on the road, driving on snow and ice, how to defuse situations with aggressive drivers and five road trip essentials.

The Plymouth Rock Assurance 2015 Thanksgiving travel study was conducted between October 6 and 13, in partnership with online survey provider Cvent, consisted of 1,000 consumers 17 years and older with valid New Jersey drivers’ licenses who are traveling for Thanksgiving. The sample was provided by eRewards, a service of Research Now Group Inc. Cvent and Research Now are independent research consultants and/or survey providers.

3 thoughts on “NJ Roads Stuffed on Thanksgiving

  1. good tips. thanks.
    Except the dead battery instructions.
    If the person reading your instructions knowa very little about the process you should mention – at the end when telling how to attach the Black handle clamp you fail to mention that you should attach it to the car with the dead battery. they might try to attach it to the “good car”.
    Just a suggestion

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