Fewer deaths on SC highways, seat belts still an issue

Fewer deaths on SC highways, seat belts still an issue

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Public Safety released a report this week with the number of people killed on highways this year.

According to records eight people died in accidents during the Labor Day holiday period from Friday, August 30, at 6p.m. until Monday, September 2, at midnight.

None of those deaths occurred on interstates.

So far the tri-county area of Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties are seeing fewer deaths on the roadways.

Senior Trooper Bridget Wyant with the State Highway Patrol says most of the deaths are happening on secondary roadways, not interstates.

Ranking of total number of deaths January 1st through September 2nd:

1. Greenville County- 44

2. Richland County- 39

3. Lexington County- 25

Charleston County- 25

So far Berkeley County has 16 and Dorchester has 11 highway fatalities.

All of those counties have seen a drop in highway fatalities from this time last year.

State total of highway fatalities as of September 2nd:

2012: 552

2013: 472

The number doesn't only include fatalities of drivers of motor vehicles but also pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists.

Non-motor vehicle deaths in the state as of September 2nd:

Pedestrians- 54

Motorcyclists- 80

Bicyclists- 8

"100 Deadly Days of Summer"

So far almost the majority of statewide deaths happened during the "100 Deadly Days of Summer."

It runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and this year the monitoring period actually spanned 102 days.

The summertime is usually when we see an increase in fatalities on roadways.

Senior Trooper Wyant says along with more drivers it's because of speeding, drunk driving and people not wearing seat belts.

"It's a continual uphill battle that we're having in the state. People just don't want to buckle up, even though it's a state law," said Wyant.

As of September 2nd there were 312 deaths involving vehicles. Over half of those people did not have on seat belts.

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