Thanksgiving travel safety reminders from S.C. Highway Patrol

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – You can expect to see a significant increase of traffic in the Midlands starting tomorrow, this is according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The agency will be out in full force.

“Reduce your speed, limit your distractions, maintain a larger follow distance. And in some of these heavily congested areas like Columbia or on I-20 in Lexington, just know that there’s gonna be a lot of stop and go traffic,” said S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper David Jones.

Trooper Jones says too often minor collisions occur because people are not paying attention. Midlands motorist Johnny Williams says during this time of year the roads are congested. 

“You have to drive for yourself and the other person. Also you have to be alert and be aware of everything going on around you. It’s a full-time job, it is not a part-time job driving up and down these roads to get to your destinations,” said Williams.

According to Trooper Jones, last year there were 14 traffic fatalities in the state during the Thanksgiving holiday.  “As a trooper it isn’t the crashes, it isn’t the devastation we see on the road, the worst thing we could ever see is that mom and dad or the brother, sister answer that door when we knock on it and the tears and the heartache on their face.”

A big reminder coming from Trooper Jones. This is the first holiday where the left lane law is in effect. 

“So if you are in the left lane and you’re going slower than the traffic around you, it is illegal in South Carolina. It is a great reminder to make sure to use that right lane and get out the way and let faster traffic get by,” said Trooper Jones. 

Trooper Jones says he wants to end the holiday season with zero fatalities and in order to do that all drivers must be vigilant. 

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