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Vehicular Deaths Down; Victims Deserve Justice


Based on a comparison of 2013 and 2014 figures from theSouth Carolina Department of Public Safety, the number of people killed on South Carolina roadways is trending downward. But there is still plenty of room for improvement.

The agency reported that through Nov. 9, 2014, 659 people have died on South Carolina highways, compared to 678 highway deaths during the same time period in 2013.

The 85 pedestrians and 12 bicyclists who died in 2014 on South Carolina roadways through Nov. 9 turned out to be a single digit below the 2013 tally in each category. A notable decline was in the number of motorcycle deaths. Through the second weekend of 2014, 76 motorcyclists have died on South Carolina roads and highways, compared to 117 motorcyclist deaths through the same period in 2013.

SCDPS preliminarily reported a decline inSouth Carolina vehicular deaths in 2013 in comparison to 2012. “A total of 749 persons [were] killed in 2013 on South Carolina roadways [and in] 2012, preliminary figures indicate there were 863 persons killed on South Carolina roadways,” according to the agency.

A similar trend occurred during the summer travel season – the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day when the highway death toll tends to increase. The agency refers to this stretch as the “100 Deadly Days of Summer.”

South Carolina DPS figures show a 13 percent decline in roadway deaths in the summer of 2014 in comparison to the same season in 2013. “This summer, a preliminary number of 191 traffic deaths were reported during the summer months, compared to 219 during the same time frame in 2013,” SCDPS reported.

The improving motor vehicle death toll sets the stage for the prevention of South Carolina highway fatalities during the upcoming 2014 holiday season.

In 2013, South Carolina troopers and local law enforcement officers worked together on a holiday traffic safety initiative titled “Sober or Slammer!” Law enforcement personnel conducted “public safety checkpoints and enhanced enforcement efforts to find and arrest anyone driving while impaired,” SCDPS explained in 2013. The “Sober or Slammer!” program ran from Dec. 13, 2013, through Jan. 1, 2014.

Dovetailing with SoS in 2013 was an annual program revived in early December and intended to encourage the public to designate a sober driver. The designated driver holiday campaign was titled “Be a SANTA!” SANTA stood for Sober All Night Totally Awesome Designated Driver.

Driving while impaired endangers motorists and pedestrians universally. As Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver once said, “DUI doesn’t just happen at night. It doesn’t just happen to one group or another. … This problem affects every segment and demographic of our society; and that is why it continues to be our primary enforcement focus.”

If You Are a Drunk Driving Victim

Drunk driving continues to be the leading cause of fatal crashes in South Carolina, according to SCDPS.

Something rightly is being done about it on the enforcement side, which leads to an important question: What about the victim?

The family of the decedent, as well as someone who has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, deserves skilled legal representation that will fight hard for compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and other losses. This is what the Charleston car and truck accident injury lawyers atPierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC do.

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