GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – American Automobile Association has predicted the roadways to be even more congested this holiday season as millions of people are expected to travel to their Christmas destinations by car this year.
“It’s always crazy up here in Greenville, especially during the Christmas season,” said Claire Beattie.
AAA estimates more than 1.5 million South Carolinians are choosing to hit the roadways as their main mode of transportation this week, meaning you should prepare for major interstates like 85 and 26 to see extra volumes during peak rush hour times.
“The roads are going to be congested. If Thanksgiving was an indicator of what we’re going to see during this travel period, we’re going to see a lot of traffic,” said Spokeswoman for AAA Carolinas, Tiffany Wright.
The official holiday season starts Thursday, December 23rd and ends Sunday, January 2nd.
Wright said to plan accordingly.
“I think we’re going to see a steady stream of traffic,” Wright said. “I can tell you this, during this end of the year holiday period, the best day to travel if your travel plans allow you to do so would be December 25th. That day is probably going to be the least congested on the roads.”
According to AAA. the best times to hit the roads are typically before noon. The worst times are between one and seven.
Wright said to also have a budget because gas prices are higher than years past.
Master Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway with Highway Patrol added drivers should expect to see increased patrols on the roads in an effort to keep drivers safe.
“A seatbelt can save your life if you’re involved in some type of incident. Obey the posted speed limit. Don’t drive distracted,” said Ridgeway. “Stay off your cellphone while you’re driving.”
He said those little things can be all the difference.
“I’ll be headed back home to Hilton head,” said Sandra Counts. “And the worst part is usually going through Columbia.”
“I try to stay off the interstate as much as possible,” said Beattie.
However you’re traveling and which route you take, Trooper Ridgeway just asks that you do so safely…
“If we can just get the message through to folks just to be aware while they’re traveling this holiday season,” he told 7 News.
So that everyone can enjoy the holidays with family and friends.