News 12 This Morning / Monday, Sept. 3, 2012
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Cars have filled the roads all weekend long traveling all over the country for Labor Day weekend, but those who stopped at the South Carolina Welcome Center on I-20 got more than just directions.
The welcome center hosted its 26th annual Pit Stop, where workers offered free food and beverages to drivers but also sent out a message about driving safety.
"We're thankful for all the snacks," said traveler Mort Ewing. "Very nice."
"Staying hydrated and awake while you're on the roads. Take your safety breaks. Make a pit stop," added Rhea Zorn with A&B Beverage Company, the main sponsors of the event.
The Pit Stop also included information about your trip and safety advice for your drive. They also had a wrecked car from a drunken driving accident out in front of the welcome center to remind drivers what can happen when they drink and drive.
"It's nice to have snacks, but it's also nice to have a wrecked vehicle out front to remind us what can happen when we aren't safe," Ewing said.
"It's terrifying," added traveler Sara Sommerville. "You look at it and you think how many people died in that crash. And it does make you stop and think."
Labor Day weekend is a busy traveling weekend throughout the country. AAA predicts nearly half a million South Carolina residents will hit the roads.
"Last year we had almost 2,000 come through the doors and that's just on Friday and Monday on the weekend," Zorn said. "This year we should have around the same."
That gives the Pit Stop a lot of opportunity to spread the word.
"Being aware and being safe and responsible is our main focus," Zorn said.
It's not just about alcohol awareness, it's driving safety in general.
"Just slow down, take a few deep breaths and realize that if you get there 15 minutes later, its not the end of the world," Sommerville said. "That old saying is true: Better late than never."
The Pit Stop is sponsored by A&B Beverage. They say selling alcohol is what they are known for, but alcohol and driving awareness is a part of their job that's just as important, if not more.