According to figures released by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the number of traffic fatalities in South Carolina was a little high during 2012 as compared to 2011. Moreover, the number of road deaths doubled in one area county.

The figures released by the S.C. Department of Public Safety show that 837 people died on South Carolina’s roads in 2012. The number of traffic related deaths was 828 in the year 2011.

The highest number of fatalities in 2012 took place in Greenville County which were recorded at 66. This was followed by Richland County with 51, followed by Lexington and Spartanburg with 48 deaths each. The number of deaths in traffic accidents in Orangeburg County remained the same as were recorded in the previous year which was 25. However, the number of fatalities reached 12 in Calhoun County which doubled its 2011 figure. Bamberg County had 2 fatalities, which were 6 in 2011.

“We are making gains in what has been a persistently difficult cultural trend to fight – people getting behind the wheel impaired. We also have made significant strides in our effort to ensure motorists comply with our primary seat belt law,” SCDPS Director Leroy Smith said. “However, getting people to take personal responsibility for their own driving behaviors continues to be our biggest challenge.”

The main reasons told by authorities regarding the fatal crashes were drunk driving, speeding, failing to yield the right of way, running off the road and pedestrians in the road illegally.

The number of fatalities in South Carolina remains below the national average. During the first nine months of 2012, the increase in the average of traffic deaths reached seven percent at national level. On the other hand, South Carolina had a 6.4 percent decrease in traffic fatalities.

According to the commander of S.C. Highway Patrol, Col. Mike Oliver, troopers will emphasize on the leading causes of collision and deaths in 2013 which include DUI, failure to use safety belt and speed. He said that vulnerable roadway users, especially motorcyclists, moped riders and pedestrians will also be given special attention.

“Our fatality numbers continue to show that the majority of fatal collisions are occurring at night with people not buckled up,” Oliver said. “Law enforcement is doing everything we can to combat those negative numbers, but these recent fatality trends show that a pocket of the motoring public is continuing to make irresponsible decisions, and ultimately it is costing them or someone else their lives.”

Statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December showed that South Carolina had dropped from number one to number seven in the country for the percentage of traffic-related fatalities that involved an alcohol-impaired driver from 2010 to 2011. There was a decrease in fatalities in South Carolina from 44 percent to 38 percent in 2011. Reports also show that almost 26,000 DUI arrests were made, 501,513 citations and 409,228 warnings were issued during the 2012 enforcement year as compared to 493,914 citations and 404,859 warnings in 2011.