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South Carolina Highway Patrol shares Memorial Day driving safety tips

South Carolina Highway Patrol gears up for Memorial Day Travel. (Credit: WTGS){ }{p}{/p}
South Carolina Highway Patrol gears up for Memorial Day Travel. (Credit: WTGS)

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Law enforcement agencies are gearing up for heavy traffic due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

During the Memorial Day holiday weekend last year, 17 people died in traffic collisions in South Carolina. With more vehicles expected to be on the road this year, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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“With that increased amount of traffic, of course, there will be individuals who break down more often. If you have a flat tire, run out of gas, or the battery in your car dies, just try to pull over on the side of the road as far as possible,” SCHP Cpl. Tyler Tidwell said.

Tidwell said driving the speed limit and wearing your seatbelt are two big safety tips. Not just during Memorial Day weekend but year-round.

"Just in the State of South Carolina last year, we had 1,092 traffic fatalities, and the year before, we had 1,198 traffic fatalities; about half the people who had access to seat belts weren’t wearing them," Cpl. Tidwell said. "So, I can’t imagine the amount of people we would still have with us if they had their seatbelts on."

Memorial Day marks the start of the 100 deadly days of summer in South Carolina. Tidwell says this is when the state sees an uptick in the number of traffic fatalities.

“Children and students are going on different trips, family vacations, people are going from one place to another, so you have an increased amount of traffic and that increases the amount of, chances of something bad happening such as a fatal collision," Tidwell said. "We want everyone to reduce their speed, to wear their seatbelt, limit distractions, and don’t drink and drive. It takes everybody working together to reach our goal of target zero."

READ MORE: Memorial Health honors boy's recovery journey following traumatic ATV hit-and-run

Tidwell says motorists will see an increased number of state troopers on the roads to ensure everyone’s safety.

He added that you can be charged with DUI not just for alcohol but for drugs as well.

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The best times to travel this weekend would be early morning and late afternoon.

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