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More than 600 people have died on South Carolina's roads this year, and the 18 Beaufort County deaths that have occurred so far this year is a four-year high for this county, according to a report filed by the Island Packet.
Reasons offered by authorities contacted by the Packet are pretty broad and range from alcohol to the increased use of phones and GPS units. You can check out the Packet report here.
Statewide, the number of traffic deaths actually is down by 97, year to date, with 626 through Oct. 17. There were 723 through Oct. 17, 2009.
Crashes also are down, year to date, by 84.
Also of serious concern is that more than half of the people killed in wrecks who had access to seat belts weren't wearing them.
You can keep track of those figures over at the S.C. Department of Public Safety website.
Also, a real-time look at what's going on in terms of wrecks in S.C. Highway Patrol's Troop 6, which includes Beaufort County, is available here.