SCDOT: New rumble strips could save your life

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A close call behind the wheel shakes up drivers everyday, but for 388 people in South Carolina this year, that close call cost them their lives.

One of the leading causes of fatal crashes, according to state officials, is running off the road. Now, the South Carolina Department of Transportation hopes installing a new safety feature on area roads will keep you from becoming a statistic.

All this week, drivers will see SCDOT workers installing rumble strips in four accident-prone areas in Horry County -- including Forestbrook Road, Mt. Olive Road, Highway 9 and Joyner Swamp Road.

Donald Durkin lives off of Forestbrook Road and says the road upgrade couldn't have come at a better time.

"You fall off the road and you fall into those ditches," he said, after explaining the little pull-off room drivers have along the side of Forestbrook Road. "At night, it's very difficult and the lanes are small. With headlights coming at you, it's very hard to figure out."

Rudy Gerald with SCDOT says the state realizes those types of roads threaten your safety. That's why the agency is using your tax dollars to make the improvements.

"The cost on those rumble strips is about $2,500 per mile per lane," Gerald said.

Jean Gordon lives feet from Forestbrook Road and says she's happy to pay up.

"I've seen it on a lot of other highways, even Interstate 95 - which we travel a lot," she said.

If you don't see rumble strips on a road you think is dangerous in your community, Gerald says it's likely because the road is on the state's improvement list. He says it would waste taxpayer money to install strips on a roadway that will eventually get repaved. The state would then have to cut the rumble strips out of the road for a second time.

Gerald says roads with the highest number of run-off accidents sit high on a priority list for the installation of the strips. The strips will also be cut into each rural or secondary road that is repaved.

Officials say the rumble strip projects happening this week in Horry County will wrap up Friday at 7 p.m.

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