Lowcountry prepares for Memorial Day Weekend travel

Lowcountry prepares for Memorial Day Weekend travel
Published: May. 26, 2016 at 9:55 PM EDT|Updated: May. 26, 2016 at 10:37 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - With gas prices at their lowest in ten years thousands of people will be hitting the roads for Memorial Day Weekend.

AAA reports nearly 50,000 people from the Carolina's will take road trips, a two percent increase from 2015.

"We usually go up to North Carolina, up to Lake Lure, or all those places," said Matt O'Hara.

This year O'Hara is changing it up, staying in the Charleston area.

"I think I'm going to go surfing all weekend," he said. "I'm sure people are coming into town, but the beaches won't be crowded."

O'Hara said that the weekend forecast will keep vacationers away from the tourist areas.

Meanwhile, those who do plan to travel are preparing for a large number of people on the road and a heavier law enforcement presence.

In 2015 the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported seven deaths on the road across the state. One was in Charleston County.

"South Carolina has very crazy drivers," said Steven Johnson. "I've driven on the autobahn in Germany and you can drive as fast as you want,
and the number of fatalities are much much less then what they've been here."

Highway Patrol is also urging drivers to be aware of motorcycles, especially with Atlantic Beach Bike Week in Myrtle Beach.

"We see an influx of motorcycles not only from the local area, but all across the country that come to our state and through our state," said
Lance Corporal Matt Southern.

"Just take your time, give yourself a couple extra minutes to get there," Johnson added. "Don't be in such a rush, because when you're in
a rush dangerous things happen."

In 2015 South Carolina saw 136 motorcycle fatalities.

Southern said 25% of motorcycle accidents happen when a driver is taking a left hand turn onto the road and doesn't see the motorcyclist.

"Just be aware," Southern said. "One death is one too many."

As for the skies, Charleston International Airport expects to screen an average of 7,000 departing passengers per day beginning Friday and continuing through Tuesday.

Officials are urging you to arrive at least two hours before take off.

In 2015, TSA at Charleston screen an average of 5,269 passengers a day during the Memorial Day travel period.

"Charleston has grown and along with it the airport has grown to meet the travel needs of our passengers," said Paul G. Campbell, Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

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