Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - AAA estimates that more than 55 million people will be traveling at least 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday, and Louisiana State Trooper Thomas Gossen out of Lafayette's Troop I recommends that motorists do a complete inspection of your vehicle before hitting the road.

Check tire pressure, hoses, lights, and anything else that you can do to decrease the likelihood of needing to pull over on the shoulder of a busy interstate like I-10. A parent's nightmare is sitting on the side of the road with a car full of kids who are tired of being stuck in the car and can't get out to release pent up energy.

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Changes in outside temperature can affect your tire pressure. The ideal tire pressure for most vehicles is between 30 and 35 pounds per square inch (PSI). Pressure fluctuated about 1 PSI for every 10 degree change in air temperature. In south Louisiana, it's not uncommon in the fall and winter months for the temperature to go up and down, and even change at least 20 in less than 24 hours. As the temperature rollercoasters, your tire pressure is reacting accordingly. One day you get in your car, and that strange light that looks like an upside down lightbulb is illuminated on your dashboard.

That same indicator comes on when your tire is low or going flat as you drive down the road. Are you prepared if you have a flat tire while you're traveling to spend the holiday with family?

flat tire

Do you have a spare tire? Believe it or not, most folks don't know the answer to that question.

If you do have one, is it inflated? How awful would it be to replace a flat tire with a flat tire without meaning to? Check your spare.

Do you have a jack? Do you know how to use it? Do you even know what it looks like?

guy flat tire

To be completely transparent, I didn't know the answer to any of these when I had a flat tire. Luckily, I found the spare and the jack.

However, when it came time to actually put the two to use, I was clueless. My husband had shown me where they were and walked me through the steps, but I failed when put to the test.

Trooper Gossen supports the idea of having roadside assistance or a service that can help you when you're in such a bind. If you don't, do yourself a favor and do a run-through of changing a tire. Truthfully, I don't know if I could have gotten the lug nuts loose or even been able to lift the flat tire into my car.

Practice. Check your car before you leave. It could save you a lot of grief, not to mention a lot of time, when you're on your way to enjoy time with your family.

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