100 deadly days of summer are underway

Published: Jun. 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2014 at 3:22 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Last year there were more than 30,000 collisions in the state of South Carolina from Memorial Day to Labor day.

Every year nationwide, about 45,000 people die along our highways and about 1,000 of those deaths happen in the state of South Carolina. To help save as many of those lives as they can, state and local law enforcement are increasing patrols and educating awareness.

Law enforcement calls the 100 days between Memorial Day to Labor Day the Deadly Days of Summer.

Roads can be very dangerous in the summer because of the high influx of people traveling - especially in our tourist driven county.

Last year during the deadly days stretch, more than 200 people died.

Nick Dixon, who is visiting from Georgia, explains how he feels about the deadly stretch. "Oh it's frightening, it's scary for me when I'm driving and more scary because I have an 18-year-old son. So I got an 18-year-old on the road and I know he's going to be driving in those situations so yeah, I'm scared all the time for my family on the roads."

Speeding is the most common cause of driving related deaths according to highway patrol. Followed by passengers not wearing a seat belt and driving while intoxicated. The best advice, troopers say is if you plan on drinking, then plan ahead.

Dixon adds, "Me and my wife take turns, we know when we're going out one of us will have drinks and one of us won't. We'll do that or we'll group up with friends that maybe couples will drink but someone in the group won't drink."

South Carolina Highway Patrol leaders tell me they will be patrolling the Pee Dee, interstates and all main routes to the beach. There will be check points, radar used to detect speeding and heavy enforcement of wearing your seat belt. But one of the biggest way to stay safe, is to pay attention to not only yourself, but others around you.

"Don't get distracted and don't be in a hurry, if you're not in a hurry to get somewhere usually accidents won't happen," Dixon advices.

There were six motorcycle related deaths this Memorial Day Weekend, none of which were in Horry County.

The Department of Public Safety is pushing for driver safety through commercials and billboard campaigns.

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