PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s going to be busy on the roadways for Thanksgiving. Thirty-nine million travelers will be hitting the highway for the holiday.

That’s a lot of rubber on the road.

You may not be thinking about it right now because of the nice November weather, but snow will be here soon. That means you need to drive in it. Are your tires ready?

KDKA-TV Consumer Editor Susan Koeppen talked to the experts at locally-owned Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service and Tirerack.com, the nation’s largest independent tire tester.

Joe Durkoske, the general manager of Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service says, “People tend to take their tires and reliability for granted and just get in and go.”

According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wintry weather accounts for more than 704,000 crashes, more than 260,000 injuries and 2,900 fatalities on our nation’s roadways.

Here are some tire basics: Lower temperatures reduce a tire’s flexibility and grip even without snow or ice.

Under-inflated tires offer less traction.

Durkoske says motorist should check their tire pressure once a month.

“It is very common to lose one to two pounds of air pressure in tires, especially in changing temperatures,” he says.

And a lack of tread can double your stopping distance. Sixty-four percent of motorists say they don’t know how to check their tire tread. It can be as easy as using a quarter.

If the tread covers George Washington’s head, the tire has good tread. But if your tire tread doesn’t cover his head, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.

While most drivers use all-season tires, Tirerack.com says consumers may want to consider winter tires.

Matt Edmonds, Vice President of Tirerack.com says, “Having the right shoes on your car for the weather are just as important as your personal shoes.”

In testing done by Tirerack.com, winter tires stop a car before all-season tires or summer tires on ice. Winter tires help grip better when turning on ice.

Says Edmonds, “Our vehicles these days have so many technologies to help give us control and safety, but they are only as good as the traction they can control. And the only things that give us that traction are those four tires.”

Winter tires should be used from Thanksgiving to Tax Day.

You need all four tires to be winter tires. The average price is about $400 to $500.

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