South Carolina has some deadly roads—leading the nation with the highest fatality rates on rural roads, according to a report released Tuesday by TRIP, a national transportation research group.
The report defines rural roads as non-Interstate, rural routes.
There are 3.82 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, which is the highest rate in the nation and nearly four times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state, according to the report.
“South Carolina’s rural roads are the deadliest in the country, a result of decades of deferred infrastructure investment,” said Bill Ross, president of the SC Alliance to Fix Our Roads. “This legislative session, however, SC lawmakers approved an increase to the state’s motor fuel user fee for the first time since 1987. SCDOT now has the means to begin repairing dangerous rural roadways where approximately 58% of traffic fatalities occur.”
Of South Carolina’s rural roads, 10 percent are rated in poor condition and 26 percent are rated in mediocre condition, the report says.
"When people hear the word ‘rural,’ they often think of secondary roads, but most of the traffic is actually on rural primaries and Interstates,” said Tiffany Wright, president of AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety. “With a new funding stream provided by the state legislature in 2017, SCDOT has announced a new Rural Roads Safety Program.
“We applaud the legislature and the department for taking this long overdue step. We understand it will take time, but hopefully South Carolina is now on the right track to reduce traffic fatalities for all highway users.”
Michaela Broyles, 843-626-0281, @Michaela Broyles