SCHP: New 'danger zone' emerges on Interstate 26

SCHP: New 'danger zone' emerges on Interstate 26
Published: Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:28 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:41 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The stretch of Interstate 26 nicknamed the 'Corridor of Death' is taking a backseat to a new problem area on the highway. This area, closer to the Charleston, is responsible for more than 600 accidents in 10 months and those numbers are rising.

"The amount of aggressive drivers that you see is on the rise," said Senior Trooper Bridget Wyant. "The conditions are heavy traffic in the morning and you got to slow down."

From exit 199 in Summerville to the Dorchester Road, Trooper Wyant says the morning drive is becoming a Nascar race.

"In the mornings you can't be like Nascar and drafting off of the person in front of you... and be so close," said Wyant.

In 10 months, from January to October of 2013, that stretch of highway has seen 604 accidents.

22 percent of those accidents happen in the three hours between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

"We're working multiple collisions in that time period in the morning," said Wyant, who says this 15 mile stretch is becoming a new 'danger zone' on I-26.

"Fortunately we haven't had serious fatalities that have occurred... these are your normal fender bender collisions that are occurring," said Wyant.

Wyant says the amount of accidents they've dealt with before breakfast is out of control.

The senior trooper says three things are to blame for the up tick of accidents.

First and foremost, she says drivers not slowing down when speed limit drops from 70 mph to 60 mph after passing Summerville heading East.

Second, Wyant says following too closely is a recipe for disaster. The trooper says not many people are aware of the three second rule between cars on the highway.

And finally, merging at high rates of speeds and crossing multiple lanes of traffic are becoming more of a problem.

"You get people that are doing what they're supposed to be doing and then people that aren't and driving recklessly or carelessly," says Wyant, who is ready for a change.

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