Carolinians pack up, travel for 4th of July weekend

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 3:24 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Nearly 48 million people will travel over the holiday weekend, according to AAA.

South Carolina Highway Patrol is preparing for a busy weekend on the roads and interstates.

Lance Corporal Gary Miller says July 4th travel period started Thursday and will last until Monday, July 5.

“We will have special enforcement,” Trooper Miller said. “Basically, an all hands on deck situation. WE are doing everything we can to keep our roadways safe.”

The 4th of July weekend is in the middle of what is known as the 100 deadliest days of summer which falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

According to Trooper Miller, during the 100 deadliest days of summer in 2020, 361 people died on South Carolina roads. Since Memorial Day of 2021, Trooper Miller says there have been 200 people killed on South Carolina roads.

“We’re coming out from under COVID. People are tired of being cooped up and restricted,” Trooper Miller said. “They want to get out and have a good time and we want them to. But we are begging the general motoring public to please, prepare before you get on the roads, allow extra travel time, and follow the rules of the road.”

Trooper Miller says the three most common causes of crashes are speed, failing to yield to the right of way, and driving under the influence.

He encourages all travelers to have a full tank of gas, check your tires and complete other pre-trip maintenance before leaving for the weekend.

Meanwhile, other travelers are taking to the air.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport anticipates there to be almost as many travelers stopping at the airport as there were prior to the pandemic.

Charlotte Douglas expects there to be 27,000 to 28,000 people traveling through Charlotte Douglas each day.

During the 4th of July weekend in 2019, there airport officials say there were roughly 30,000 to 33,000 passengers flying in or out of Charlotte each day.

During the pandemic, there were only 10,000 travelers passing through the airport over the holiday weekend.

Brianna Mack, who flew into Charlotte from Phoenix, Arizona, said she was surprised to see so many people traveling.

“I know people are vaccinated and things, but I didn’t think people were traveling as much as they are. So, it’s good to see,” Mack said.

As business returns, airport officials are asking for your patience because they say they too are suffering from the national labor shortage.

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