The Christmas holiday traffic death toll in South Carolina tied for the lowest rate in the past decade. But there will not be a new record-low for the overall number of highway fatalities in 2011.
During the 78-hour Christmas holiday travel period from Friday night (December 23-26), three traffic deaths occurred in South Carolina. That compares to 13 over the holiday last year. However, despite the significant improvement, the latest highway fatalities this week (a Lexington teen died Wednesday after a pickup accident) bring the total count so far in 2011 to at least 811, according to the state Department of Public Safety.
That’s one more than the total number of deaths for all of 2010, with New Year’s weekend still ahead-– typically a more dangerous time on the roads because of the increased likelihood of DUI.
This year’s increase would stop three consecutive years of decline. However, the number of deaths is still much lower than in 2007, when more than 1,050 people died on the state’s roads.
The state Department of Public Safety says this past weekend’s traffic deaths included one pedestrian and one motorcyclist.
Highway fatalities involving pedestrians and motorcycle riders in our state this year continue to exceed the numbers for last year by at least 20 in each category.
David Waterman of Columbia affiliate WVOC contributed to this report