SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA)-The race to return home is on after thousands across the Upstate traveled for the holidays. It’s one of the busiest travel days of the year and officials say there are safety concerns.
Whether you’re hitting the road or taking to the sky, you’re going to be met with more traffic and longer commutes than usual.
South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) said even if you are doing everything right, that won’t always keep you safe.
“Even if you’re focused on the highway, there are probably several people around you that are not,” said Joe Hovis, SCHP. “They might be texting and driving or driving distracted so be aware of that and be cognizant of the people around you.”
He said holidays bring celebrations and with celebrations, comes alcohol. If your plan includes drinking, it should also include a sober ride home.
“The hardest thing we have to do is to go to someone’s home and tell them that their loved one is never ever coming home again, we do not want to do that,” said Hovis.
SCHP said one of the common causes of a crash is when people least expect it.
“They might be going from one place to another place that’s really short, maybe half a mile and won’t put their seatbelt on,” said Hovis. “Always, always, always wear your seatbelt, you know, if you have your seatbelt on you have an 88 percent chance of surviving that crash, no matter how horrific it is.”
Officials at GSP International Airport said it’s been a calm holiday weekend so far.
“Today is more of a typical day for us so we’re looking at about 3,000-3,500 people in each direction arriving and then departing so we’re at 7,000 people total that’ll be coming through the airport today,” said Tom Tyra, director of communications at GSP.
He said despite the Upstate avoiding any snow or ice, that doesn’t mean the places you’re traveling to and from did.
“Make sure you check the flight status with the airline, downloading the airline’s app is always best,” said Tyra. “They always communicate any issues that may happen with their flights with the app first.”
Officials said something people forget to do is to pack food and water when traveling in case they are stranded on the side of the road, especially with the impacts this week’s cold weather has had.