RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - If you live in rural South Carolina, you are driving on the deadliest streets in America.
This, according to a report was released Tuesday by TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group. They looked at the states with the highest number of deadly crashes on rural roads and South Carolina tops the list.
According to the report, for every 100 million miles traveled on rural roads, there are more than three deadly crashes in South Carolina.
Jordan Marsh is the Vice President of the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads.
"Last year alone, we had over 950 lives lost on South Carolina roads, [with] 58 percent of those fatalities occurred on rural roads," Marsh said.
South Carolina's Department of Transportation is already on it, releasing a plan just last week to tackle and improve rural roads.
"They're going to looking into where these fatalities are occurring and make engineering solutions such as rumble strips, guard rails, widening the shoulder to allow more correction," Marsh said.
This means to address the issues rural roads face most: higher speed limits, a lack of safety features, and slower emergency response times.
"When you're talking about some rural roads minutes matter, seconds matter. So, when you have a first responder that's either stuck in congestion or can't get there because of the quality of the road, yes, they might increase the likelihood of someone possibly dying," Marsh said.
Plans to improve these issues are part of the Rural Road Safety Program, funded by the new gas tax which goes into effect Saturday.
"We're taking the step, the legislator finally acted this year to move forward with a solution that will provide the resources the curb fatalities on rural roads," Marsh said. "The additional tax that citizens of South Carolina as well as out of state residents will be paying will go directly to saving lives on rural roads."