COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Traffic deaths are way up in the Midlands.
In Lexington County, 38 people have died on the roads since Jan. 1. That is up by more than double over the same period last year.
The number of deaths on our roads is extremely alarming, to say the least. Lexington County has the most deaths on the road of any county in the state of South Carolina. It has almost double the deaths than Richland County, despite having 100,000 fewer residents.
The WIS Editorial board asked the South Carolina Highway Patrol for its take on what may be causing this tremendous increase in driver deaths in our area. We think it is wise for all drivers to listen to their message. It is very simply a message that could save your life.
Hello, I'm Colonel Chris Williamson, commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Summer is finally here in South Carolina. For most people, that means time off from work and school, family barbecues and trips to the beach.
But those of us in uniform know that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day - often called the 100 Deadly Days of Summer - can be a dangerous time to travel on our roadways.
During the summer months of 2017, we lost an average of two people per day on our roadways all across South Carolina. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. These aren't just statistics, these are our loved ones and friends.
The Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be cracking down this summer on violations causing these deadly collisions. But we can't solve this problem alone. It takes everyone pulling together and committing to safer driving habits.
Here is how you can help:
- Watch out for motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists;
- Silence your phone or use an app to prevent distraction;
- Don’t text and drive;
- Obey posted speed limits especially in construction zones;
- Scan ahead for changing traffic patterns or slowed traffic;
- Designate a sober driver;
- Always buckle up and ensure every passenger does the same.
- Move Over for law enforcement and first responders.
Let's get back to the basics of safe driving, South Carolina. Visit scdps.gov to learn more about how we can work together to reach our goal of Target Zero highway deaths.