SCRN spoke with Sgt. Kelley Hughes with the South Carolina Highway Patrol who reports that there have been 427 incidents between 6 a.m. and 12 noon on Monday. The Department of Public Safety (DPS), Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) have 357 officers on duty statewide.
Hughes says that different areas of the state are seeing different challenges. He says that with deeper snow in the Upstate, fewer people are venturing out; and therefore, there have been fewer accidents reported. Icy road conditions in the Lowcountry have been an issue for both the citizens and emergency responders.
Where there’s been less snow recorded in the central and north-central areas, there has been more traffic resulting in more accidents. Earlier, drivers were taking it easy and there were fewer incidents, but now as more people take to the roads, they are driving faster, which Hughes says is resulting in heavier damaged vehicles.
Sgt. Hughes warned that driving too fast for conditions has been the major factor in drivers sliding off the roadways or into other vehicles. He said they have had no reports of fatalities and few injuries.
The highway patrol is asking for understanding from those needing assistance. He says due to the overload of accidents the response time is much slower than normal. He also reminds citizens that officers and emergency responders are driving in the same conditions and must take necessary precautions.
“All in all,” says Hughes, “if you don’t need to be out, please stay off the roadways.”
More precipitation is expected and icy roadways could result in worsening conditions later today, tonight and tomorrow.