CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 28, 2018) –With an estimated 1,094,000 North Carolinians and 488,000 South Carolinians traveling 50 miles or more from home for one last vacation of the summer – a 5% increase from last year – AAA Carolinas is reminding everyone to be safe on the roads.
The majority of Carolinians traveling will be packing their bags for a road trip, with 941,000 North Carolinians and 420,000 South Carolinians driving to their destinations.
“For most vacationers, the Labor Day holiday is the last hoorah for summer vacations, as school ramps up and 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 weekend is defined as Thursday, August 30 – Monday, 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. Prepare for an influx of traffic on the roads,” added Wright.
Last year during the Labor Day period, North Carolina crashes resulted in 1,839 injuries and 23 fatalities, according to the NCDOT. South Carolina endured 503 injuries and six fatalities, 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 17 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. As summer draws to a close, 212 people have died traveling SC roadways this summer compared to 194 motorists in the summer of 2017.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Program in NC has been running its Booze it and Lose itcampaign 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. In an effort to make a Labor Day weekend plan, vacationers are encouraged to visit BeSmarterThanThat.com before hitting the roads.
Gas Prices Remain High
Last year gas prices had climbed during the Labor Day holiday as a result of the damage done by Hurricane Harvey. Though gas prices have dropped a few cents this month, they are still on pace to be the highest Carolinians have seen over the Labor Day holiday since 2014. North Carolina’s average is currently $2.66 – a five cent increase from last year’s Labor Day price and South Carolina’s average is $2.52 – just two cents more than last year’s.
Carolina motorists driving through surrounding states will encounter varying prices at the pump, with Georgia ($2.69), Virginia ($2.59), Tennessee ($2.58) and Florida ($2.72).
Below is Labor Day Prices in Recent Years