CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 26, 2019) –With an estimated 1,126,820 North Carolinians and 502,640 South Carolinians packing their bags for one last vacation of the summer – a 3% increase from last year – AAA Carolinas is reminding everyone to be safe on the roads and in their travels.
“For most vacationers, the Labor Day holiday is the last hoorah for summer vacations, as school ramps up we start to see the season change,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “With gas prices pretty much even with what we saw last Labor Day, we don’t expect this to prevent Carolinians from hitting the road.”
The Labor Day holiday runs from August 30 – September 3.
AAA Urges Safety on the Road
Labor Day weekend concludes “100 Deadliest Days,” a period during the summer months when crashes for teen drivers increase significantly. Recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirms that nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. The research also found a disturbing trend showing that texting and social media are on the rise behind the wheel.
“Practice safety behind the wheel. Don’t drive distracted and prepare for an influx of traffic on the roads,” added Wright.”
Last year during the Labor Day period, North Carolina reported 3,032 crashes resulting in 17 fatalities, according to the NCDOT. South Carolina had 993 collisions resulting in 12 fatalities – double the amount from the year prior, according to the SCDPS.
Community Works Together to Promote Safety
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety kicked off its annual Sober or Slammer! Campaign with the message, “Drink. Drive. Die.” Beginning on August 16 and running through Labor Day, the SCDPS will increase law enforcement presence dedicated to cracking down on drunk driving to reduce DUI-related traffic deaths. This summer, South Carolina has seen 188 fatalities on its roadways since Memorial Day, a significant decrease from last year’s 232.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Program in NC has been running its Booze it and Lose it campaign since August 18 and it will go through the end of Labor Day. During the campaign, law enforcement agencies increase the number of saturation patrols, set up checking stations and use local news media to reach out to all drivers.
Gas Prices Down From Last Year
Gas prices are on pace to be the cheapest Labor Day prices motorists have seen since Labor Day of 2016. North Carolina’s average, as of today, is $2.38, which is 23 cents less than 2018’s Labor Day. South Carolina’s average is $2.23, which is 28 cents less than last year.
Carolina motorists driving through surrounding states will encounter varying prices at the pump, with Georgia ($2.41), Virginia ($2.34), Tennessee ($2.29) and Florida ($2.36).
Travel Destinations Vary
The top driving destinations for Carolinians this holiday are:
Myrtle Beach, SC
AAA Carolinas reminds drivers to use caution and good judgement while traveling this weekend in order to have a safe and happy holiday.