According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 1000 car accidents proved fatal for South Carolina drivers in 2015. For every 100,000 people, South Carolina has a car accident fatality rate of about 20 car accident related deaths. This number is nearly double the national average. What is happening on South Carolina’s roadways to put its drivers at such a great amount of risk?
Primary Causes of Accidents and Fatalities
In South Carolina, there is absolutely no shortage of factors that contribute to drivers being in car accidents. Some of the top risk-taking behaviors that occur behind the wheel include:
- Drunk driving – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2015 statistics show that out of 977 car accident fatalities, over 300 of those involved a driver who was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. That makes one-third of all South Carolina traffic fatalities the result of drunk driving.
- Speeding – The same data from the NHTSA shows us that 361 car accident fatalities were the direct result of people driving faster than the legal posted speed limit. So, very close to another one-third of all South Carolina traffic fatalities were caused by speeding.
- Cell phone use and other forms of distracted driving – NHTSA statistics for the United States as a whole highlight the fact that in 2014, more than 3,100 people were killed as a result of distracted driving and more than 431,000 people were injured. Sending and reading text messages is the number one cause of distracted driving in South Carolina but other causes include making phone calls, reading emails, eating, changing the radio station, and dealing with passengers or children who are in the car.
Some other minor causes of car accidents included failure to yield the right-of-way, falling asleep at the wheel, and following too closely (tailgating).
Protect Yourself and Protect Your Legal Rights
The best thing that you can do as a driver to keep you and your passengers safe while on the road is to develop good driving behaviors. Never get behind the wheel when you are intoxicated, always obey all posted speed limits, and stay off of your cell phone while you are driving. Adhering to these common sense driving rules will go a long way towards preventing another tragedy on South Carolina’s roadways. Unfortunately, the behavior of the other drivers on the road is an absolute wild card. In spite of everyone’s best efforts, car accidents will still happen every single day.
If you do end up being involved in a car accident that was the result of the negligence of another driver, you need to seek representation from an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your South Carolina car accident attorney will help you to ensure that your rights remain protected at all times and that you receive the maximum amount of compensation allowed to you under South Carolina law. This includes things like medical expenses, lost wages due to missing work, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one should be injured by a negligent driver in South Carolina, make sure that you contact a diligent and qualified personal injury attorney at the Nye Law Group as soon as possible. If you are interested in a free consultation with one of the personal injury attorneys in our office, please go ahead and give us a call at (912) 200-5230 and speak with someone in our office today.