AAA Carolinas is projecting a record 614,700 South Carolinians will travel at least 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day holiday, which will mark the highest number of travelers based on surveys since 2001.
Most will be driving to their destinations rather than flying, with nearly 541,000 South Carolinians expected to hit the road.
AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Tiffany Wright told South Carolina Radio Network that lower gas prices means more cars on the road this year. “We’re paying about 95 cents less at the pump than we did the same time a year ago. The current average price in South Carolina right now is at $2.44, so prices are lower than they have been in a few years.”
Rising income, driven by a strong employment market is fueling the Independence Day holiday travel. Despite recent seasonal increases, gas prices remain well below last year’s levels, which has helped fuel disposable income for South Carolinians.
The current average gasoline price in South Carolina at $2.44. The highest average price is in Charleston at $2.52 and the lowest in Spartanburg at $2.36.
Traveling south, motorists will find gas prices averaging $2.66 in Georgia and $2.68 in Florida. Heading north, Virginia’s average is $2.57 and going west Tennessee’s average is at $2.53 with Kentucky highest priced neighbor with an average price of $2.70. South Carolina’s prices are consistently below its neighbors due to the state’s comparatively low fuel tax.
Wright also said that with the holiday being on a Saturday will add to more cars on the highways. “When you have something on a Saturday there tends to be more people off work, which means more people on the roads.”
While most South Carolinians will be driving to their destinations, an estimated 54,300 are expected to travel by air, an increase of 1.5 percent from last year. Approximately 75,000 are predicted to use other modes of travel, including buses, trains and cruises an increase of 0.5 percent from 2014.