Falling gas prices fuel increase in holiday travel, AAA says

Almost 90 percent of South Carolinians traveling this Thanksgiving holiday will be celebrating with a road trip.

GREENVILLE, S.C. – A total of 656,000 South Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving. And with gas prices at their lowest levels in five years, about 591,000 of those travelers will drive, an increase of about 24,000 more than last year, according to AAA Carolinas.


Gas prices in South Carolina have dropped dramatically in the past two months. The statewide average is around $2.59, down 57 cents from Labor Day, when the average was $3.16. And South Carolinians are paying 47 cents less at the pump compared to last Thanksgiving, when they paid $3.06.

"Lower prices at the pump have encouraged more people to hit the road this Thanksgiving holiday to spend time with their family and friends," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas.

Parsons said Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for motorists due to its five-day length and the heavy traffic caused by the high number of travelers on the road.

Last year, five people died in crashes on South Carolina highways during the Thanksgiving holiday, defined as Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 30. The highest number of travelers on the road will depart for their destinations on Wednesday, and most will return on Sunday, according to AAA.

"With Thanksgiving being the busiest travel weekend of the year, we want to remind families to take extra measures to ensure safety on the highways," Parsons said.