Think there have been more car accidents on Carolina Forest Boulevard lately?
You’re not wrong. There have been more accidents on the road this year than any previous year since 2012. And there was a more than 120 percent increase in accidents the month after the new Ten Oaks Middle School opened.
In August, there were eight traffic accidents on the road that resulted in property damage. according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
In September, after the opening of Ten Oaks in late August, there was a jump to 18 accidents. In October, there were 16, according to SCDPS.
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That September jump is not supported by past trends.
The number of accidents on the road has decreased between August and September every year since 2012 — until this year’s jump from eight to 18.
“With respect to all the new construction off Carolina Forest Boulevard, including the school, I think that’s all contributing to the increase in the number of accidents,” said Carolina Forest Civic Association board member Jeff DeSantis.
He said that a lot of parents whose kids go to the school on International Drive also live in Carolina Forest, making the traffic problem worse.
“Poor planning has created a bottleneck in how they have to get out of International Drive,” he said.
There was another big increase in accidents between June, when there were eight collisions, and July, when there were 19 accidents, according to SCDPS. For the rest of this year, accidents ranged between 12 and 18 per month, not counting November, for which data is not complete.
Yearly totals going back to 2012 also show a steady increase, according to SCDPS. In 2012, there were 89 accidents on Carolina Forest Boulevard. In 2016, there were 139.
This year there were 143 accidents as of Nov. 17.
Over the past five years, the month with the least amount of accidents was January 2014.
Between Jan. 1, 2012, and Nov. 17, 2017, there were 718 total traffic collisions on the road.
DeSantis said he’s in favor of working with any legislator who could help get state money to expedite the widening of the road.
The design for the road is scheduled to be completed by September 2018. There is no date set for construction.