While Americans are expected to be driving to shopping locations in high numbers this upcoming holiday weekend for Black Friday deals, they need to make sure their car is not a target for criminals.

According to Help Eliminate Auto Thefts, November and December are when the most auto thefts occur across the country. H.E.A.T is urging holiday travelers to follow their tips to ensuring their vehicles safety and easing stress with peace of mind during the holiday season.

"Cold weather doesn't stop us from shopping and it sure doesn't stop thieves from going out and looking for victims," said Terri Miller, director of H.E.A.T. "The holidays are a joyous time of year that could easily be ruined by having your vehicle broken in to, or stolen. It's important to take a few extra minutes to protect yourself, your vehicle and your belongings."

H.E.A.T suggests staying alert at all times, park in well lit areas, place valuables out of view or in the trunk, unload the most valuable items first and if someone is attempting to take your car, the owner should give it up.

The Car Care Council is also encouraging holiday travelers to consider having their cars checked out before hitting the road for the weekend. A quick checkup can save a car owner money, time and stress, especially if a car breaks down when the family is miles away from home. Preventative maintenance is a sure way to avoid costly repairs later on.

"A pre-trip vehicle check provides peace of mind, helping reduce the chance of costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by one's own trusted technician before hitting the road," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken to ensure a stress-free Thanksgiving road trip."

Motorists are encouraged to have fluids, belts and hoses, brakes, windshield wipers and engine mounts and parts check by a certified technician. The council also suggests making sure a vehicle's emergency kit is restocked before taking down the road, in the unlikely event of an emergency, it is better to be safe than sorry.

AAA predicts that 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or further from their homes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, up 0.7 percent from the amount of travelers last year.