HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Inclement weather adds to traffic rush, troopers urge people to use caution

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — AAA estimates that this holiday season will be the third busiest on record. More than a million and a half South Carolinians are expected to head out for the holidays.

“There may possibly be inclement weather coming in the next couple of days. The South Carolina Department of Transportation is preparing some of the roads for that,” said Trooper Tyler Tidwell with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

“The last few days, SCDOT has had crews out getting the roads ready with salt brine to make sure we minimize the buildup of ice and snow wherever it may come. That’s mostly been in the Upstate according to the forecast but we’ll see,” said Ginny Jones, SCDOT communications director. 

In the Midlands, no ice or snow is in the forecast at the moment but wind gusts of more than 40 miles per hour are expected.

“Use caution. Drive safely,” Jones advises. “Be aware of those around you. Look out for our workers.”

“Before you take a trip, make sure you get an adequate amount of rest,” Trooper Tidwell said. “You don’t want to be tired when you’re traveling down the road. If you do find yourself getting tired, pull over at a rest area.”

While lower than this time last year, South Carolina’s number of traffic fatalities is still more than a thousand. 

Trooper Tyler Tidwell says that speeding is a top cause of accidents in the state in any type of weather.

“If you reduce your speed, you reduce the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle and getting into a collision,” Tidwell said. “Even if you have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, you still need to slow down.”

You also need to plan a safe ride this holiday season if you choose to drink alcohol. 

”We will have increased numbers of troopers on the highways during this holiday period. Our ‘Sober or Slammer’ campaign has stated. We want everyone to make the right choice,” the trooper said. “The choices that you make on the roadways can affect your life and other lives.”
The increased number of troopers on the roadways are also out to help people in the event of an emergency. 

“Try to pull over on the shoulder as much as possible to get out of the way of traffic. You can contact us at Star-8-7 or Star-H-P,” Tidwell concluded.

Stay up to date with SCDOT on social media for the latest road conditions.

Categories: Local News, Richland