MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – After the fun festivities come to a close, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year.
As millions head home for the holiday all of that traffic can make things a lot more dangerous, so the highway patrol was out with lots of patrols.
News13 spoke to one college freshman from Socastee, heading back to school after his first big break rom campus who knows the risks of the road first hand.
“I’m telling you, life can change in the blink of an eye,” said Sam McKinney, a freshman football player at Wofford College.
“I got into an accident over the summer and actually totaled my car,” said McKinney.
He says he wasn’t at fault for the crash and walked away ok but, “it was a huge eye opener to me how quickly things can change in the blink of an eye.”
And McKinney says he’s thankful he followed one of the highway patrol’s top safety tips.
“Paying attention is the number one key, maybe just a small distraction by using your cellphone or something else causes you to run off the road or not see a traffic light,” said Cpl. Sonny Collins with South Carolina Highway Patrol.
“If I had been on my phone, the consequences of that accident could have been a lot worse than what they were,” said McKinney
Though he knows distracted driving is dangerous, he’s also had to learn to follow the rules of the road the hard way.
Back when he first got his license at 16, McKinney was running late work when, “I got pulled over doing 52 in a 35. I should have just done the speed limit and told my boss I was going to be late.”
McKinney says he’s learned from those experiences and he’s better prepared when he takes to the road by staying within the speed limit, avoiding distractions, and driving defensively.
“100% of your attention has got to be on the road, especially through this holiday season. Because it only takes a second for something to go wrong and you can’t take it back,” said Collins.
AAA says 47 million American’s traveled at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving.
SCHP tells News13 they had as many troopers on patrol as possible, especially on the interstate.