CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A total of 389 people have already died on South Carolina roadways this year, and state troopers are working to keep that number from rising.
Memorial Day Weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for travel. It also marks the beginning of the "100 Deadly Days of Summer." The time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day received the "deadly" nickname because that's when the South Carolina Highway Patrol sees more deadly accidents than any other time of year.
Law enforcement is doing everything they can to change the 100 deadly days of summer into 100 fun days of summer. But they say it is challenging when people aren't doing what they should be when behind the wheel.
"People just don't pay attention to what's going on around them," Justin Nettles, from Walterboro, said. "They don't care."
Over the past three years, on average, there have been 223 traffic deaths per year during this time frame. The increase in deadly accidents is attributed to more traffic from South Carolinians and out-of-state visitors, including more motorcycles, an increase in drinking and driving incidents and more times pent on the road by young drivers who are out of school during these times.
"If we didn't have to go and knock on somebody's door and say, 'Your loved one isn't coming home because they were killed in a crash,' that would make our job so much easier," South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Matt Southern said.
State troopers and local law enforcement will have drunk driving checkpoints, targeting seat belt violations and putting more patrols on the streets.
Their goal is to have zero traffic fatalities – but they say it starts with you.