More traffic, pedestrian deaths in 2012 across state

More people are dying on roadways in the Palmetto State.

The Department of Public Safety reports that 837 people died in fatal crashes last year, according to preliminary statistics. That number is nine people more than in 2011.

The most notable statistical increases involved deaths of vulnerable roadway users and deaths resulting from a lack of seatbelt use.

Vulnerable roadway users are classified as pedestrians, bicycle, moped and motorcycle operators.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Community Resource Officer Troop Six S/Tpr. Bridget Wyant says pedestrians should wear reflective clothing at night and walk against the flow of traffic, if there are no sidewalks.

"You can be seen up to 500 feet further if you are wearing something reflective," Tpr. Wyant says.

She says SC Highway Patrol will continue to educate the public about roadway safety in the new year.

"Last year we talked to more than 90,000 students about distracted driving, seatbelts and drinking and driving," she says. "So we hope to reach that many, if not more, this year."

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