How to safely share the road with tractor trailers as record-bre - FOX Carolina 21

How to safely share the road with tractor trailers as record-breaking holiday travel begins

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If you plan to hit the road this holiday season, AAA of the Carolinas says you should expect a lot of company.

“There's approximately going to be about 2.5 million people on the road this holiday season in the Carolinas,” says Jeremy Linkins, the branch manager of AAA on N. Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville County.

Linkins says this year’s record-breaking number of travelers is all thanks to low gas prices, which are averaging around $1.75 per gallon in the Upstate.

“It’s one of the record lows right now and people are taking advantage of this and they’re stretching the miles on their vehicles to go visit their family,” says Linkins.

As families hit the road during this special time of year, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety is reminding drivers it’s also one of the deadliest. This year more than 900 people have lost their lives on South Carolina highways, 100 more than this time last year.

“Just be aware of your surroundings especially behind the big trucks because there will be a lot of truck traffic,” says Bobby Dumit, general manager of Greenville-based Palmetto State Transportation, which runs 80 to 90 tractor-trailer trucks across the U.S.

Interstate 85, a major travel corridor connecting metropolitan cities Charlotte and Atlanta, sees a high volume of tractor trailers. On Tuesday morning, Highway Patrol says three separate tractor-trailer accidents within a few hours and few miles of each other, temporarily shut-down parts of the interstate.

Dumit says there are ways drivers and trucks can share the road safely and it starts with patience.

“Nowadays the speeds have decreased some in most of the trucks for fuel efficiency and safety reasons, so the drivers are driving at a slower pace nowadays,” Dumit says .

Dumit says you’re safest around a truck when you keep a good distance behind them.

“Basically from that distance you can see the driver's mirrors and that allows them to see you and they can see if you're trying to pass or whatnot and they can maintain the same lane they’re in,” Dumit says .

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