Drivers will have company during this holiday travel season


(WSPA) – AAA data found from Saturday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 there will be 115.6 million Americans to travel by plane, train, and automobile this holiday season.

On the roadway, AAA said more than 104 million holiday travelers, which is an increase from 2018 of 3.9 % will driver to their destination.

At the Greenville County Coroner’s Office, Kent Dill noted, more cars means a higher chance of crashing on the roads.

Dill explained several factors to take into account to lessen the chance of being involved in a crash.

“Always expect more traffic this time of the year. Always expect that everybody is going to rush. So the chances of you coming in contact with an aggressive driver is greater. So, take your time and if somebody needs to cut you off, let them go,” Dill said.

Aggressive drivers will have more company, 4.3 million more drivers than last year.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis added that more traffic means there will be a larger law enforcement presence on the roads.

“You can expect to see added troopers across the state and on the highways and we’ll be looking for those people who make the bad decisions of drinking and getting behind the wheel of the car,” Hovis said.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found 285 people were killed in drunk driving crashes during Christmas and New Year’s in 2018.

Dill said traffic fatality data in Greenville County noticed a decrease in the number of deaths between 2017-2019:

  • 2017: Year total 81 deaths, during December 8
  • 2018: Year total 86 deaths, during December 11
  • 2019: Year total (so far) 72 deaths, during December 1

Last year, across the US, 10,511 died in drunk driving incidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration .

Dill said distracted and impaired driving are the two most common reasons for crashes during the holiday season.

“Anything that will keep you from being top of your game is not safe and we see it over, and over, and over again,” Dill said.

Law enforcement said the bottom line is stay patient, alert, and sober.

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