Police warn commuters this week

AIKEN --- South Carolina commuters, watch your driving this week, because the police will be watching you.

It is Driving Safely to Work week, a time when law enforcement agencies work to raise awareness about the increased danger to motorists during their commute to and from work.

"Our goal is for everyone to make it to work safely each week," said Lance Cpl. Trevor Clinton of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Collisions are more likely to occur during rush hours -- 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

"With the increase in traffic during those hours, drivers should try not to be so aggressive in their driving habits, be patient with the traffic that's around them," Lance Cpl. Clinton said.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there have been 419 collisions, resulting in one death, in Aiken County during the three-hour evening commute so far this year. During the morning commute, there have been 198 collisions this year, resulting in one death, on Sept. 30.

Statewide in 2008, there have been 19,886 collisions during rush-hour traffic, resulting in 130 fatalities.

Lance Cpl. Clinton said mornings and evenings are the busiest times for law enforcement.

"People are really aggressive during those hours because they're trying to get to work on time, and they're trying to get through the traffic," he said. "Everybody needs to be focused on the roadway."

2006 COMMUTER COMPARISON

GEORGIA COMMUTE

MorningEvening
Accidents60,649110,077
Deaths237391

SOUTH CAROLINA COMMUTE

MorningEvening
Accidents7,12313,739
Deaths5373

Sources: Departments of public safety