SC Highway Patrol warns of '100 Deadly Days of Summer'

SC Highway Patrol warns of '100 Deadly Days of Summer'

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - So far in 2017 there have been 420 people killed on South Carolina roads. That's according to the State Department of Public Safety.

This number is an increase from the number of fatalities last year and officials are working to keep it from increasing.

South Carolina Highway Patrol has dubbed this the "100 Deadly Days" of Summer. The time between Memorial and Labor Day is when they see more deadly accidents on the roads than any other time during the year.

It's the busy season in the Lowcountry, bringing visitors and tourists into the area. That means more traffic and therefore more accidents out on the road.

"It's definitely concerning that we have so many young drivers and we live in such a tourist populated area," said Rebecca Donaldson, Bluffton. "That so many people have road rage and get mad at the slightest things. Or you see people swerving because they're texting or eating while they're driving."

Already this year there have been more traffic fatalities across state roads than there were during the same time last year. First responders in the Town of Bluffton say their area is no exception. They see this alarming trend happening here too.

"In average the last five years, we average about 1 motor vehicle accident a day in the Bluffton area," said Lee Levesque, Bluffton Township Fire Department. "Unfortunately, this year so far, we're up to 2 to 2.5 a day in the average."

South Carolina Highway Patrol says the increase in accidents isn't just due to more cars on the road. It also is attributed to an increase in impaired driving, not wearing seatbelts, and an increase of motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, as well as young teenage drivers all out on the roads during this time.

"That's where personal responsibility comes into play," said Trooper Matt Southern, SC Highway Patrol. "You know, we really want folks to do what they're supposed to do every time they're behind the wheel of a car. Buckling up, driving the speed limit, not drinking and driving, and limiting distractions as much as possible."

State troopers will be stepping up enforcement during this time.

"Everyone that has a stake hold in this roadway has the ability to help us get to that Target Zero. It would keep us from having to notify a family member that they lost a loved one due to the fact that they were killed in a crash," said Trooper Southern.

They say their goal is to have zero fatalities out there on the roads. They say one life lost is far too many.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.