MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A release from AAA says that an estimated 471,300 South Carolinians will take to the roads for the Independence Day holiday, the deadliest day of the year, according to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report.
AAA Carolina's says Myrtle Beach is the top summer driving summer destination for 2013, followed by Orlando and Charleston.
Celebrations for the Independence Day holiday involve alcohol, which result in more drunk drivers on the road. During 2013 and 2011, AAA says 71 percent of traffic fatalities in SC over Independence Day weekend involved a drunk driver – 10 out of 14 total.
"Motorists should make plans in advance to find a safe way home by getting a designated driver, or calling a cab," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas.
The anticipated number of travelers is down two percent from last year, which is probably a result of a shorter holiday period and higher gas prices. Last year, July 4 fell on a Wednesday, which resulted in a six-day holiday travel period compared to five days this year.
"Last year's numbers were also fueled by falling gas prices, which we haven't seen so far this summer," Parsons continued.
South Carolina currently has the lowest average gas prices in the country, at $3.22, which is 11 percent higher than Independence Day 2012. Last year, gas prices fell significantly during May and June but has been flat for the past two months in 2013.
South Carolina will suspend construction projects along interstates and high volume multilane primary routes from 6 a.m. Friday, June 28, through 10 p.m. Sunday, July 7.