Let’s face it: traveling for the holidays, whether by plane or by automobile, is often as enjoyable as a root canal. You can usually expect higher gas prices, traffic congestion, bad weather and flight delays to contend with, but motorists on a stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike encountered something far more insidious on their trip to grandmother’s house: driveway sealer.

As Pittsburgh's WTAE reports, a tanker carrying the tar-like substance leaked a portion of its load along a 39-mile stretch of the road, before stopping at a highway service plaza. The driver was unaware of the leak, which caused damage and delays to numerous cars driving through it.

Some estimates pinned the number of affected cars in the hundreds, with damage ranging from paint stains and opaque windshields up through ruined wheels and tires. Turnpike authorities used snow plows to remove the bulk of the driveway sealer from the roadway, forcing them to close portions of the highway while the spill was cleaned up.

If you’re on the road for Thanksgiving, travel safely, give yourself extra time and expect the unexpected. As for us, we’re throwing a can of bug & tar remover in our trunk before we hit the road, just to be safe.

Image credit: Flickr user Erich Ferdinand, Creative Commons 2.0