Unfortunately, it’s that time again. The 100 Deadly Days of Summer is in full effect. Police officers have already seen an increase in highway deaths this year compared to last year. But why?
As we ease our way into summer, the number of people who get into vehicles while under the influence increases. Although the numbers are not all attributed to teen drivers, they do play a part in it. As school comes to an end, the number of teenagers on the road during the weekdays dramatically increases. The number of drunk drivers begin to escalate as we see a rise in summer parties, time with friends, and beach trips.
So far this year, 347 people have died as a result of a car accident in SC. Last year during this same time, that number was 297. That’s a pretty big increase, according to the SCDPS reports.
People can expect to see more safety check points as summer progresses. Another thing to keep in mind are the benefits of seatbelts. For some unknown reason, even after the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt have been emphasized, there are still some who do not see the importance.
If you are caught not wearing a seatbelt, which has now been a South Carolina law for the past 3 years, you will receive a ticket for $25. While this won’t add points to your license, it could add time to your life—and save you money.
Additionally, SC police officers have joined together with Chick-Fil-A for the “Click’n 4 Chicken” campaign which rewards safe drivers wearing a seatbelt a coupon for a free sandwich or frosted lemonade. A simple click in the seatbelt could potentially get you some of that buttery chicken goodness—yum!
Summer is a time of heavy travel, especially those coming to our state to visit family. Often times it is not you that you have to worry about, but the other drivers you share the highway with. It is extremely heartbreaking to read stories of those who lost their lives in car accidents that could have potentially been prevented if they had only been wearing a seatbelt.
So this summer, make sure you aren’t going to become part of the statistic.
Another thing to be aware of are backroads. To avoid traffic jams, too many red lights, and interstate traffic, many people take a backroad route to get home faster. They assume there is less traffic and less highway patrol. Think again. Accidents on rural streets and backroads are just as high as other highways. People are generally more likely to speed on a backroad than on a main highway.
Just as you take safety precautions in all other aspects of your life, make sure driving is one of them. Summer is a time of fun but only when safety comes first. Have fun this summer, Charlestonians, but remember: Click it or Ticket!
(Oh yeah…and you may just get a free Chick-fil-a sandwich if you’re caught being an awesome seatbelt-wearer by one of our highway patrol officers!)