Traffic fatalities in the Upstate due to speeding, DUI, and more

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–There have been several fatal accidents in the Upstate just in the past week or so. 7News wanted to now if this was unusual for this time of year.

The Highway Patrol says so far in 2020, the number of fatal accidents are comparable to years past. But they say 50% of those accidents are alcohol related, and 54% of the people who have died in accidents have not been wearing their seatbelts.

Many say they’ve been on the roads less this year due to the pandemic.

“Just going back and forth a lot less because of COVID,” Sammar Patterson said.

“My family has cut down on unnecessary trips, it’s pretty much just the grocery now is what we do,” Ellen Willis said.

And according to the National Highway Safety Patrol, nationwide traffic fatalities are down. But that’s not the case here in the Palmetto State.

“That’s 954 families that their lives have been changed forever,” Trooper Joe Hovis with Highway Patrol said.

He said so far this year, the number of fatal accidents in South Carolina has been on par with years past. It was a surprise to people in Greenville.

“It is surprising, I would expect people would be staying home more so I would think the number would decrease,” Willis said.

Hovis contributes the deaths to what he calls the four fatals: speeding, distracted driving, not wearing a seatbelt, and driving under the influence.

“You might be a perfect driver and you’re following the rules and all of those, well for all of you there’s thousands of people driving that are violating at least one of those,” Hovis said.

He says people may be especially rushed around the holiday season.

“They’re still going to be out and about Christmas shopping. food shopping for their get togethers,” Hovis said.

And he wants to remind people to think of the other drivers on the road and how they could be effected by unsafe driving.

“You go into someone’s home and you sit down with them in their kitchen or their living room or their den and you tell them their loved one, someone they see every day, is never ever coming home again and I promise you those peoples’ lives are changed forever,” Hovis said.

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