2017's Thanksgiving travel season expected to be one of the biggest in years

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - AAA estimates 700,000 South Carolinians will travel at least 50 miles from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The numbers represent an increase of 3.3 percent from 2016.

Gas prices in Charleston are predicted to reach $2.32 per gallon on Thanksgiving Day, a jump up from $1.95 per gallon in 2016 and the first time since 2014 that the average in Charleston has been over $2.00 per gallon. The statewide average is projected to land at $2.26 per gallon.

AAA expects 49,000 South Carolinians to travel by air while another 21,000 will use cruises, trains and buses. Officials hope to lower the amount of crashes and fatalities on the road this year after the state had 1,299 crashes resulting in 16 deaths over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016.

AAA also had some tips for drivers to help survive on the road

  • Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Put the phone away. Disconnect and Drive. Avoid behaviors such as eating, applying make-up and adjusting the navigation system.
  • Keep valuables in the trunk or locked area.
  • Have your roadside assistance contact information (ie:AAA) on hand in case an incident occurs on the road.
  • Keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times, in case of emergency.
  • Obey traffic safety laws: Wear your seatbelt. Don’t speed. Drive according to the weather and road conditions.
  • With an increase in traffic, expect delays and incidents on the side of the road. Obey the Move Over Law.
  • Be patient. Understand that everyone is in a hurry to get to their destination. Utilize turn signals, give drivers space and avoid road rage.

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