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October 08
SCDOT Supports “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” - Nationwide Awareness Program to be held October 10

Contact: Terecia Wilson, SCDOT Safety Director  at (803) 737-1161 or (803) 429-7402

 

                 The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is supporting “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day,” a nationwide program to unite the country in achieving one full day of zero traffic deaths. It will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

             SCDOT and its partners, the South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), along with a coalition of national safety organizations, federal, state and local governments and private companies, encourage safer behavior and actions by promoting safer roadways.

SCDOT and its partners are also using the awareness day event to release South Carolina’s first Strategic Highway Safety Plan, “The Roadmap to Safety.” The document contains a comprehensive set of transportation safety strategies, focusing on five emphasis areas.

             “It is our hope that the

implementation of these strategies will generate significant reductions in traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities on South Carolina’s streets and highways,” said South Carolina Secretary of Transportation H.B. “Buck” Limehouse Jr. “We are working with safety partners from across the state to implement this plan. The Road Map will be updated and evaluated annually so that we can monitor our progress toward bringing down the high number of crashes, injuries and fatalities.”

            More information on The Roadmap to Safety is available at http://www.roadmaptosafety.us/ Fact sheets about “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” and other safety tips are available in downloadable form on the web site.

            “We encourage the public to use the many lifesaving tips included on the web site and in the Roadmap,” SCDOT Safety Director Terecia Wilson said. “This information can be shared with family members, co-workers, friends and students.”

To ensure your safety on October 10 and on any day, SCDOT urges motorists to:

Ø      Drive courteously and defensively.

Ø      Know the rules of the road for your method of transportation, and obey all signs and signals.

Ø      Wear protective gear – seat belts or helmets.

Ø      Don’t speed, drive while impaired, distracted or in an aggressive manner.

Ø      Remember to buckle up – it’s now the law in South Carolina.

 

The sponsoring groups have launched the website www.brakesonfatalities.org to provide background information about the Oct. 10 event. 

In 2006, 1,044 people were killed in traffic crashes on South Carolina’s highways.  This is an average of nearly 3 people killed in crashes every day of the year.

             “No economic cost can be computed to reflect the grief and suffering of those who have lost a loved one in a traffic crash or who have themselves been seriously injured in a crash,” said Director James K. Schweitzer of the SC Department of Public Safety. “Traffic crashes are gravely impacting the quality of life in our state and are placing a severe burden on the state’s health care delivery system.”

Driver error causes most traffic fatalities.  Over the past five years, the leading probable cause for traffic fatalities was driving too fast for conditions with 1,099 deaths.    An additional 842 traffic deaths were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs and 576 by drivers failing to yield right of way.

The South Carolina Secretary of Transportation is H. B. “Buck” Limehouse, Jr. The SCDOT Commission includes Chairman Bobby T. Jones, 5th Congressional District; Vice Chairman Joe Young, 1st Congressional District; Henry Taylor, 2nd Congressional District; Marion P. Carnell, 3rd Congressional District; F. Hugh Atkins, 4th Congressional District; Marvin Stevenson, 6th Congressional District; and Tee Hooper, Governor’s At-Large Appointee.

 

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South Carolina Fatality Facts

“Put the Brakes on Fatalities” Day

October 10, 2007

 

 

Ø      In 2006, 1,044 people were killed in traffic crashes on South Carolina’s highways.  This is an average of nearly 3 people killed in crashes every day of the year.

 

Ø      In 2006, one traffic fatality was reported in South Carolina approximately every 8 hours 23 minutes.    In the latest year available, 2005, a homicide was reported every 25 hours 3 minutes.  South Carolina residents face a better than three times greater risk of being killed or injured in a traffic crash than from violent crime.  (There were 336 murders reported for 2005.)

 

Ø      The population of South Carolina represents 1.4% of the US population, while South Carolina traffic fatalities represent 2.5% of all traffic fatalities. 

 

Ø      The 1,000 fatality level was exceeded in 2006, the eighth time in the past nine years.   

 

Ø      South Carolina’s mileage death rate, which is the number of traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, was 2.21 in 2005.  The national mileage death rate is 1.45.  This makes South Carolina’s highway death rate 52% higher than the national average. 

 

Ø      Approximately two-thirds of all occupants killed in South Carolina motor vehicle crashes are NOT using safety belts.

 

Ø      Traffic deaths remain a leading cause of accidental death in South Carolina.  For children ages 4 – 19, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death. 

 

Ø      There is an economic cost associated with every traffic fatality reported.  Based on factors provided by the National Safety Council, the estimated economic loss in South Carolina from traffic fatalities reported in 2006 was nearly 1.20 billion dollars. 

 

Ø      In 2006, approximately one out of every 4,000 South Carolinians was killed in a traffic crash.

 

Ø      In 2006 there were four days that claimed at least 10 lives on South Carolina’s highways.  These were: April 1 (11 killed); April 11 (10 killed); August 13 (10 killed) and August 20 (10 killed).  

 

Ø      The highest fatality day in 2007 so far is May 5 with 11 fatalities.  This was followed by June 23 with 9 fatalities and seven days with 8 each (January 13, March 16, March 31, April 21, April 15, May 21 and May 26).

 

Ø      Over the last five years (2002-2006), the month of May had the most traffic fatalities with 515. The second largest number of traffic deaths occurred in October with 471.  January had the fewest fatalities with 345.

 

Ø      The majority of traffic fatalities is the result of driver error and is completely preventable.  Over the past five years, the leading probable cause for traffic fatalities was “driving too fast for conditions” with 1,099 deaths.    An additional 842 traffic deaths were caused by “drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs” and 576 by “drivers failing to yield right of way”.  No other probable cause had as many as 400 fatalities.

 

 

Summary of the Days with 10 or more Traffic Fatalities in 2006 and so far in 2007

 

 

Saturday, April 1, 2006: Eleven persons died in nine separate collisions.  Eight were male and three were female.  Five of the victims were drivers of automobiles, SUVs, vans or trucks; one was an automobile passenger; one was a motorcycle rider and four were pedestrians.  One of the victims was restrained by a safety belt, four were not restrained or helmeted, four were pedestrians and for two, restraint usage was unknown.  Seven of the fatalities occurred in a crash involving a driver under the influence. 

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2006:  Ten persons died in eight separate collisions.   Eight were male and two were female.  Five of the victims were drivers of automobiles or pickups; two were passengers of these vehicle types, two were riding on a go-cart and one was a pedestrian.  Four of the vehicle occupants and both go-cart riders were not restrained; three occupants were restrained.  The other victim was a pedestrian.    Three of the ten fatalities involved a driver under the influence. 

 

Sunday, August 13, 2006:  Ten persons died in nine separate collisions.  Eight were male and two were female.  Three were drivers of automobiles, pickups, or SUVs; four were passengers of these vehicle types, one was a pedestrian and two were riding a motorcycle.  Eight of the ten victims were not restrained (including both motorcycle riders who were not helmeted); one was restrained.  The tenth victim was a pedestrian.  Seven of the ten fatalities involved a driver under the influence. 

 

Sunday, August 20, 2006:  Ten persons died in seven separate collisions.  Seven were male and three were female.  Five of the victims were drivers of automobiles, pickups or SUVs, three were passengers of these vehicle types and two were pedestrians.  Four of the ten victims were not restrained and four were.  The other two victims were pedestrians.   None of the ten fatalities involved a driver under the influence. 

 

Saturday, May 5, 2007:  Eleven persons died in eight separate collisions.   Ten were male and one was female.  Seven of the victims were drivers of automobiles, pickups, vans or SUVs four were passengers of these vehicle types.  Eight of the eleven vehicle occupants were not restrained, two were restrained, and restraint usage for the eleventh was unknown.    Two of the eleven fatalities involved a driver under the influence.