HAMER, S.C. (WBTW) — Although experts say fewer Americans will be traveling this year for Thanksgiving, millions are still expected to be hitting the roads.
Many drove through the Pee Dee Wednesday on their way to their holiday destinations.
Despite the warnings not to travel this year, South Carolina Highway Patrol was prepared to handle a lot of drivers on the road.
“We’re going to be there to help, but we’re also going to be there to deter some of those things that happen as far as speeding violations seat belts, distracted driving,” Master Trooper Brian Lee with the SCHP said. “We want everyone to be safe. We want everyone to get to their destination.”
The destination varied for everyone.
Out-of-state travelers jammed up places like South of the Border in Hamer and a rest stop alongside I-95 in Dillon County.
Thomas and Monica Corry were headed to Charleston from the D.C. area to see their daughter.
“Roads are great. Fewer people on the roads. No bottlenecks,” Monica said.
“I really expected less people to be on the road. But it wasn’t too bad,” Rosa Hamilton of Baltimore said.
Many said they planned to limit their holiday gatherings in light of the worsening pandemic.
“Me and my boyfriend are actually going to see my grandparents. And it’s just going to be the four of us. With COVID and everything we’re keeping it small,” Maggie Hanzel said.
Others were driving as a precaution.
“Us going to see her is a lot more self contained than her coming to see us because she would fly on a plane to come home,” Monica Corry said of her daughter in Charleston.
Based on mid-October data, AAA estimated under a five percent dip in travelers by road this Thanksgiving. That’s a far cry from the nearly 50 percent anticipated drop among air travelers.
Highway Patrol says Sunday will also be a travel day as many return from their holiday destinations.