‘Make it to the Thanksgiving table’: SC troopers urge drivers to stay safe during holiday travel

There were over 1,000 crashes during the Thanksgiving season in 2022
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety urges drivers to drive safely during this...
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety urges drivers to drive safely during this Thanksgiving holiday week(Source: WMBF News)
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 12:07 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTV) - Thanksgiving is just around the corner, meaning millions of people will be moving around the country to join their loved ones in the nation’s annual feast.

This also means driver safety is extremely important this time of year.

According to the American Automobile Association, most travelers are expected to drive to their destinations this Thanksgiving. AAA projects that around 49.1 million Americans will get behind the wheel, an increase of 1.7% compared to 2022.

Increased traffic across the state can lead to more accidents, especially if drivers are prepared or are distracted on the road. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 1,126 crashes during the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday period, resulting in 11 deaths in the state.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety urges travelers to slow down, pay attention, and drive sober this Thanksgiving holiday season.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol and State Transport Police, drivers can expect to see an increased law enforcement presence leading into and throughout the holiday travel period, which begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and ends at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 26.

“We have a simple message for everyone traveling for the holiday – make it to the Thanksgiving table,” S.C. Highway Patrol Colonel Christopher Williamson said. “Driving behaviors like speeding, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence are still some of the most dangerous on the road and you can be sure our troopers will do everything they can to ensure we all get home at the end of the day.”

The Department of Public Safety is also partnering with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to help target aggressive driving. The department will provide aerial enforcement to support troopers and officers on major interstates from Wednesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 26.

In addition to stepped-up enforcement, the Department of Public Safety also produced a new public service announcement emphasizing the dangers of drinking and driving.

The message - “Make it to the Thanksgiving table. Don’t drink and drive” - was posted to billboards on Nov. 2 and began running on paid social media ads on Nov. 15, a news release stated.