HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County has seen more traffic-related deaths than any other county in South Carolina this year, according to statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Over the past three years, the number of fatalities from the beginning of the year through midnight December 28th didn't surpass 58 people, but this year, 77 people have died during the same time period in Horry County.
Statewide, fatalities are up 14% from last year.
SCHP Sgt. Bob Beres said, the warmer weather and low gas prices could be contributing factors.
He said there have been 44 more motorcycle and eight more pedestrian fatalities this year.
He also points out half of the people who were in cars during the accidents were not wearing their seatbelts.
The organization Families of Highway Fatalities teamed up with the American Red Cross this week, to encourage people to donate blood on behalf of those who have died in car crashes, with the thought of potentially saving future lives.
"Look at the Grand Strand Hospital and the McLeod Seacoast, we are constantly supplying them with the blood that they need for these accident victims," said Meggin Heath, with the American Red Cross.
The Myrtle Beach Blood Donation Center collected 22 units of blood during the blood drive on Tuesday when the center's average is generally closer to 15 units per day.
Blood is in high demand right now due to the holidays.
Donors can participate in the Families of Highway Fatalities blood drive at the following locations and times:
Myrtle Beach Blood Donation Center
Wednesday: 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Florence Blood Donation Center
Wednesday: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.