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South Carolina sees increase in fatal collisions over Fourth of July weekend

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South Carolina saw an uptick in fatal collisions compared to last year's Independence Day holiday period. 

South Carolina saw a slight uptick in fatal collisions from this year's Fourth of July weekend. 

The S.C. Department of Public Safety announced a preliminary number of eight persons killed on South Carolina roadways during the Fourth of July holiday period beginning July 2 at 6 p.m. until July 5 at 11:59 p.m.

In six of the collisions reported, the driver was not wearing a seat belt. 

In comparison, six people were killed during the Independence Day holiday period in 2019, according to S.C. Highway Patrol. 

Insurance company AAA predicts Americans will take 705 million trips this summer. 

Summer travel predictions down nearly 15% during coronavirus pandemic, AAA reports

Although that's 120 million trips fewer from last year's travel predictions, the S.C. Highway Patrol still expected an increase in travel throughout the Fourth of July weekend.  

"Whenever there is a holiday period, we do expect for there to be an increase or uptick in vehicles on the roadways," Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell with the SCHP said. "Whenever there are more vehicles on the roadways, there are always more possibilities of collision."

Several collisions are the result of failure to yield the right of way, driving under the influence and driving too fast for conditions, Tidwell said. 

Aiken County saw an increase in DUIs this Fourth of July holiday period with five DUI arrests from July 3 to July 5. 

The area saw three DUI-related arrests during the same time period in 2019. 

For many, the beginning of July marks the start of summer travel.

Tidwell advises drivers to travel safely. 

This year, S.C. Highway Patrol has had more than 150 speed-related fatalities, Tidwell said. 

This year, the state has 468 fatal collisions, with 16 in Aiken County. 

"As always, we advise people to wear their seat belts, don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted and be mindful of speed limits," Tidwell said. 

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