SCDPS: 17% increase in SC highway deaths so far in '15

SCDPS: 17% increase in SC highway deaths so far in '15

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - As of Sunday, 78 more people have died on South Carolina roads than through the same period of 2014.

That statistic comes from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, which reported a total of 532 deaths from Jan. 1 through Aug. 2, 2015.

That compares to 454 deaths recorded from Jan. 1 through Aug. 2 of 2014.

Authorities say 360 of the deaths were motor vehicle occupants, of whom 182, or roughly 50.5 percent were not wearing seat belts.

Fifty-eight pedestrians have died in 2015 compared to 48 in 2014. Motorcyclists killed in 2015 total 79, compared with 54 last year.

Nine bicyclists have died compared to seven in 2014.

The first highway death of the year, according to SCDPS investigative reports, happened just hours into the new year, at 3:43 a.m. on Jan. 1, in Aiken County. The most recent listed, as of Monday morning, involved a pedestrian who was struck and killed in Summerville.

In Charleston County, 30 people have died, compared with the same number this time last year. In Berkeley County, 21 have died, compared with 17 last year. And in Dorchester County, 21 have died, compared with eight last year.

Edgefield and Saluda Counties are the only ones that show no deaths recorded so far this year, according to data from the agency.

The numbers are preliminary, officials say, and are based on fatal collision reports compiled as of midnight.

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