Highway Patrol cautions drivers of increased traffic, dangers this holiday week

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Law enforcement is reminding drivers to practice patience, focus and caution on the roads this week.

South Carolina Highway Patrol said Wednesday will be the busiest day on the road and troopers will be out in force to monitor traffic.

Even though AAA projects a 10 percent decrease in holiday travel this year when compared to years past, Trooper Joe Hovis said the “four killers” of the highway will still be a threat: Speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence or not wearing a seatbelt.

โ€œIf youโ€™re a perfect driver and you do those four things, for every one of you there are plenty of people thatโ€™s breaking at least one of those laws,” Hovis said. “You need to be cognizant of that fact and make sure youโ€™re cognizant of the people around you when youโ€™re traveling.โ€

Hovis said these four threats kill people each travel season.

Take, for example, wearing a seatbelt.

“If you’re in a collision and you have your seatbelt on, you have an 88 percent chance of surviving that crash,” he said. “So far this year, 54 percent of [drivers] who had access to seatbelts and chose not to wear them died in a car crash.”

Hovis said long journeys are best broken up: If you can stop every hour or two, you’re less likely to get fatigued and lose focus on the road.

The Department of Public Safety said so far in 2020 there have been more than 920 deaths on SC roads. Of the more than 600 with access to seatbelts in their vehicles, only a little more than 300 were wearing them

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