I-95 in SC busy as travelers make their holiday season drive home

JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - A scene of déjà vu on Interstate 95 as drivers sit in traffic making their commutes home after the holiday weekend.

AAA estimates close to one and a half million drivers will have passed through the state of South Carolina during this 12-day travel period.

Because I-95 runs through South Carolina, it is a major gateway for travelers heading north or south along the east coast. With an expected 93 million people on the roadways during this 12-day holiday travel period, delays are unwanted but definitely common.

Luckily for our area there haven't been any major crashes reported as being a cause of some of these buildups we're seeing, but South Carolina Highway Patrol says a lot of this congestion is because of a domino effect.

"When that happens, that's when we need to prepare ourselves, increase following distance. What we saw Friday is we would have a crash and then 2 to 3 miles behind we would have another crash because people either following too closely or not paying attention and using cell phones," said SCHP Lance Corporal Matthew Southern.

AAA says close to one and a half million South Carolinians traveled at least 50 miles from their home during this travel period.

Because we're seeing warm temperatures this time of year, a lot of people opted to head south for the break putting destinations like Florida on top of the list. That's one reason we're seeing a lot of congestion here from those drivers going to and from the state.

But another reason for these backups are disabled vehicles and accidents, a trend AAA says increases during the holiday season.

"For the most part, we see fatalities go up because you have more folks on the road and unfortunately when we talk about holiday travel season a lot of people get behind the wheel and they're intoxicated. We have holiday parties, Christmas parties for work and unfortunately a lot of people leave these parties intoxicated," said Tiffany Wright, with AAA Carolina's.

Hardeeville Police is warning local residents to use caution when driving on local roads because a lot of travelers are taking detours onto roads like Highway 17 to bypass the congestion.

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