Officials urge locals to be aware on the roads as tourist season heats up

Uptick in Beach Traffic

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The beaches are already filled with folks soaking up the sun as the tourist season heats up. But the roads, bridges and highways leading into the Grand Strand are even busier.

Over the past week, the increased traffic has been frustrating drivers from Highway 501 in Carolina Forest to Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach.

The bumper-to-bumper and stop-and-go-traffic isn’t just a nuisance once tourism picks up. Myrtle Beach Fire Department Capt. Jon Evans said it can be dangerous.

“Those hot spots, where there’s lots of people, that’s where we see the most accidents but they could happen anywhere,” Evans said.

Evans noted those hot spots are 21st Avenue and 29th Avenue in Myrtle Beach, as well as Kings Highway and the areas surrounding Broadway at the Beach.

Now is the time for drivers to get used to having tourists back in town, Evans said. He added drivers need to leave space ahead of them, as drivers not familiar with the area could make sudden lane changes or turns, which could cause a wreck.

“The less distractions you have in your vehicle the better,” Evans said.

Conway Police Chief Dale Long also urged drivers to be aware. He said drivers should know Saturdays and Sundays are busiest, as it’s when more reservations stop and start. He added a supposed shortcut might not save you any extra time if everyone else knows about it too.

While main routes get backed up, he said they’re usually more direct and will still get you where you need to go.

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