Crowded roads expected this Thanksgiving

November 21, 2013 

ISTOCK

Look for crowded roads over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in South Carolina. What you need to know:

More drivers

About 11,600 more travelers in South Carolina will drive this year than in 2012 to visit family and friends between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, according to AAA Carolinas. About 567,000 people in the state will travel 50 miles or more during the period. That’s 90 percent of the total 630,000 who will travel.

Want to avoid traffic?

Don’t drive on Wednesday and Sunday when the most travelers will be on the road. If you can’t avoid the heavy-travel days, expect congestion and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. South Carolina also prohibits lane closures for road work during heavy holiday travel periods.

Be careful out there

Stay aware. Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous travel holidays of the year because folks take to the roads over a five-day period. Last year, 13 people died in crashes on South Carolina highways over the holiday weekend, an 8 percent increase over 2012.

Get there cheaper

In South Carolina, the least expensive gas is in Spartanburg, where prices averaged $2.98 Thursday. The most expensive gas was in Charleston at $3.10.

If you’re leaving the state, fill up first. Prices in nearby states were higher than South Carolina’s $3.07 average Thursday, including $3.23 in North Carolina, $3.13 in Virginia, $3.22 in Georgia and $3.08 in Tennessee.

Download AAA’s free mobile app or go to gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest prices.

By the numbers

40% - Percentage of travelers who won’t stay with friends or relatives. Average hotel rates on par with last year: $142 per night for AAA Three Diamond hotels and $105 per night for AAA Two Diamond hotels

$50 - Average cost per day to rent a car, up 6 percent from 2012’s $47 per day average

3 - The number of Safety Breaks planned by South Carolina law enforcement during the period. Officers will hand out safety materials and encourage safe driving at I-85 south bound at the Cherokee County Welcome Center and at the following rest areas: I-26 eastbound in Orangeburg and I-95 northbound in Colleton County.

SOURCE: AAA Carolinas

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