Record number of travelers expected throughout holiday season across the Carolinas

Traffic picks up after Christmas

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Traveling could put a damper on the most wonderful time of the year, especially if you find yourself lost on the roadways or in the airport.

AAA estimates about 1.6 million people in South Carolina are traveling this week until New Year’s Day. That’s a nearly 4% increase from last year.

With more drivers on the road, the risk of being in a traffic accident increases. That means motorists are talking about what they do to avoid a holiday traffic headache.

“For us, we’re checking weather, we always look online for the construction sites, and we use Waze to avoid traffic and go around,” said Kim Vince.

“Drive defensively, watch out for other drivers on the road who don’t know how to drive, and have a safe trip,” said Robert Moran.

So far in 2019, officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation said there have been more than 950 traffic fatalities across the state. Of that number, more than 70 have happened in Horry County, several over the last couple of days.

Though this number is less than last year’s traffic fatality count of 1,01, many fear the number could rise over the next week, with people enjoying the holiday spirits that are found in a glass. So it’s important to not only be mindful of yourself, but others on the road.

“In my professional experience, I’ve seen many bad accidents and as a result DUI incidents and it’s something you want to be very aware of,” Moran said.

Another tip is to practice the two Ps - patience and preparedness. This also goes for those travelers who will be wheels up flying in the sky.

AAA estimates 94,000 South Carolinians will check in at the airport ticket counter, which is up about 5% from last year.

Myrtle Beach International Airport officials said from Dec. 19 to Jan. 5, airlines have scheduled more than 70,000 arriving and departing seats.

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