South Carolina's rapid growth has made it the deadliest state in the nation for traffic accidents. The death rate per 100 million miles traveled is nearly double the national average, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports 988 people were killed on state roads in 2017. As the Independent Mail reported, "High numbers of fatalities on Upstate roads are fast becoming the norm in a state known for high numbers of traffic fatalities."
Fast-growing Greenville has topped the state in road deaths in three out of the last four years, with more than 300 motorists killed during that time-frame. Last year, 70 motorists died in Greenville County. In Anderson County, 43 people died, including four pedestrians.
Columbia Traffic Collisions Caused by Careless Drivers
A Columbia injury lawyer knows most of these "accidents" are caused by dangerous, identifiable driving behaviors. Officials are blaming everything from lack of seat-belt use to the opioid epidemic. But one thing is clear: improving driver behavior will be the only sure means of success. Most traffic crashes are caused by one or more identifiable negligent driving behaviors:
- Drunk driving: Mothers Against Drunk Driving is among the organizations pushing for mandatory ignition-interlock devices and other deterrents aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the roads of South Carolina. Thus far, legislative progress has been slow.
- Distracted driving: The state's texting-while-driving law remains weak. Efforts to pass a DUI-E (driving under influence of electronics) law have been unsuccessful.
- Bad roads: It's not your imagination: South Carolina roads are in terrible shape and were never built to handle the traffic volume many arteries and main thoroughfares are handling today. In the last decade, more than half of all fatal accidents have occurred on rural roads.
- Aggressive driving: Speeding, tailgating and other aggressive driving behaviors are often the result of heavy traffic and bad roads. Many traffic collisions involve one or more aggressive behaviors.
When these collisions injure innocent motorists, an at-fault driver can be held responsible for paying damages. Victims may include bicyclists or pedestrians, drivers or passengers in other vehicles, or passengers of an at-fault driver's vehicle.
Protecting Yourself from Crash Risks on S.C. Roads
Staying safe starts with your own driving behavior. Resolving to not drive aggressively, to keep your eyes on the road and to avoid driving after consuming any amount of alcohol, will likely cut your accident risks in half. However, there is only so much you can do to mitigate the risk of being victimized by other drivers, which is why your auto insurance policy is so critical.
South Carolina auto insurance law requires each driver to carry minimum insurance coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence. The good news is that South Carolina is among the few states that mandate uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in similar amounts. UM/UIM coverage will pay you or your family members in the event you are in a collision with a driver who does not have insurance, or who does not have enough insurance to adequately compensate you for your losses. This coverage is among the most important insurance you can have to protect you and your family in the event of an accident.
In the event of a crash, contact Lourie Law Firm, LLC so we can discuss your options.