AAA: More South Carolinians will drive this Thanksgiving

AAA of the Carolinas is predicting 11,600 more South Carolinians will travel the roads this Thanksgiving over last.

About 567,000 South Carolinians are expected to drive to their destination this Thanksgiving weekend (between Wednesday and Sunday), and the highest number of travelers, about 37%, will depart on Wednesday. Most, according to AAA, will return on Sunday (33%).

For air travel, the travel agency says the busiest departure date is Monday, November 25, with the highest number expected to return the following Monday, December 2nd or later.

AAA warns that Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous travel holidays. Last year, 13 people died in crashes on South Carolina highways over the holiday weekend.

"As a traditional family holiday, Thanksgiving is the busiest travel weekend of the year," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. "Drivers should expect heavy congestion and plan on taking more time to reach their destination."

South Carolina gas prices, averaging $3.07 today, are about six cents less than this time last year.

The highest average price in South Carolina is in Charleston at $3.10 per gallon of unleaded; the least expensive average price is in Spartanburg at $2.98. South Carolina motorists can expect to see higher gas prices in nearby states of North Carolina ($3.23), Virginia ($3.13), Georgia ($3.22) and Tennessee ($3.08).

In spite of slightly lower airfares, down 1% from last year, fewer travelers will be taking to the skies this year, about 44,100 or 7% of all travelers. An estimated 18,900 (3%) will use other modes of transportation, such as train, boat or bus.