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Highway Facts

Did you know?

  • More pedestrians are killed each year on SC roads than vehicular deaths on our Interstates.
  • About 85% of all crashes occur on primary and secondary roads, not on interstates.
  • Nearly one-third of South Carolina's primary and interstate highways are now in poor or mediocre condition.
  • Approximately half of our secondary roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
  • 1 out of every 5 bridges in the state is considered deficient.
  • South Carolina has the 4th largest state-maintained highway system in the nation. Nationally, only 19% of all highways are under state ownership. In South Carolina, 63% of all highways are under state ownership.
  • South Carolina taxpayers contribute 43% less annual state source revenue per capita ($152) than the national per capita average ($267). For every dollar the average American contributes in recurring state-source highway dollars, the average South Carolinian contributes 57 cents. The term "recurring" means user fees, not bonds (which are repaid with recurring revenue).
    [Source: Recurring state-source revenue sources extracted from FHWA Highway Statistics 2010, Table SF-1]
  • If a person drives 15,000 miles a year and gets 20 miles per gallon, he/she will pay $120 in SC motor fuel user fees annually. This is enough to resurface about 7 feet of one lane on the average secondary road.
  • Federal funds are limited in how they can be used. They generally cannot be used for routine maintenance and must be used on roads that contribute significantly toward interstate commerce.
  • Approximately 50% of state highway system is NOT eligible for federal funding.
  • SCDOT's primary source of revenues is the state and federal motor fuel user fee (on average, more than 90%). It does not grow with inflation. Due largely to the national economic recession in 2008, revenues have fallen and only toward the end of FY'12 did they recover to 2008 levels.
  • Nearly all other states substantially augment their Highway Programs with other dedicated non-fuel tax revenues.
  • The state motor fuel user fee has been 16¢ per gallon since 1987. This is the 4th lowest in the nation. It has remained flat while the Consumer Price Index has grown 105% and traffic has grown 51%.
  • Unlike the state sales tax, when gas prices go up, fuel revenues tend to go down. Improved fuel efficiency also causes fuel user fee collections per mile to drop (21% reduction in motor fuel user fee collections per mile driven between 1987 and 2011).