CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina has seen an increase of traffic fatalities compared to last year, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol officials.
According to Highway Patrol authorities, in Dorchester County alone there has been a nearly 75% increase in traffic related fatalities when compared to this time last year.
Authorities say in that county alone, there has been 23 fatalities and out of those 23 collisions, four involved motorcyclists who were not wearing helmets.
Out of the other 19 fatalities, 12 were not wearing seatbelts, according to a report by the Highway Patrol.
Authorities cite speeding, driving left of center, failure to yield, fatigued and distracted driving as other factors that contributed to deadly collisions.
"Unfortunately, this year in South Carolina we have lost a total of 670 lives," said Lance Corporal Hannah Wimberly with Highway Patrol."That is 670 families that law enforcement had to make notification to their loves. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is making an effort to prevent fatalities through the Target Zero initiative. Though, if citizens continue to not wear their seat belts, drive impaired, and make careless decisions while driving the State of South Carolina will continue to see a rise in fatalities as our state becomes more populated. The South Carolina Highway Patrol will continue to enforce with every effort to prevent these fatal collisions but we need assistance from the motoring public.1 fatality is 1 too many."
Authorities released the following information on the numbers of fatalities spanning from January 1st to September 20th from previous years in Dorchester County:
2012 - 15
2013 - 12
2014 - 9
2015 - 23