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Oklahoma expects hundreds of thousands of road trippers despite holiday heat

A segment of Route 66 in Canadian County, Oklahoma.
National Parks Service
A segment of Route 66 in Canadian County, Oklahoma.

Nearly half a million people are expected to travel in Oklahoma over the holiday weekend, and most of them will be driving. AAA anticipates a record-breaking number of road trippers across the country, and it may be thanks in part to lower gas prices.

“We're looking at over a dollar cheaper this 4th of July weekend than we were last summer around this time,” said AAA Oklahoma spokesperson Rylie Mansuetti. “So hopefully you can take those extra dollars on making sure that your car is cared for before you take those road trips.”

Summer heat can evaporate car battery fluid, decreasing the battery’s capacity or even killing it.

“If it's running low on power, your AC is not going to work as well,” Mansuetti said. “So with these extreme heat temperatures, you don't want to be inside that vessel that's just attracting more heat without great working AC because it could lead to risk of heat stroke.

Travelers may need to monitor tire pressure, since high temperatures can cause dangerous blow-outs. Mansuetti recommends keeping plenty of water and an emergency kit in the car in case you get stuck in the heat.

If you see another car with its flashers on, Oklahoma law requires you to slow down or move to a farther lane as you pass it.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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