Car Accident Statistics and Facts in South Carolina
Every day, people across South Carolina are involved in motor vehicle accidents. While some are minor fender benders, many others result in severe injuries and death. When those crashes are caused by another’s recklessness, South Carolina law allows victims to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
Our skilled legal team represents clients throughout South Carolina, even though our offices are in Lancaster county. We take pride in helping South Carolinians recover after they’re harmed by someone else’s negligence.
South Carolina Car Accident Fatalities
South Carolina is of the deadliest states for car crashes. The mileage death rate, which is the number of fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, has been significantly higher in South Carolina than the average across the United States for at least the past 25 years.
According to the most recent statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a traffic accident occurs every 3.7 minutes in the Palmetto State. A fatal collision happens every 9.5 hours.
Other data about South Carolina car accident fatalities show that:
- Someone is killed in a drunk-driving wreck every 28 hours.
- Teen drivers are in fatal or severe crashes every 1.3 hours.
- Someone without a seat belt dies in an auto accident every 27.5 hours.
- One pedestrian dies every 2.3 days in a S.C. car crash.
- Every 3.1 days, a motorcyclist is killed in a collision.
- A child under six is killed or seriously injured every 9.4 days.
- Every 21.5 days, a bicyclist dies in a motor vehicle accident.
The most common contributing factor in fatal collisions in South Carolina was an action (or failure to act) by one or more drivers. Other factors included vehicle defects, environmental factors, and poor roadway conditions.
Of the driver-related fatal crashes in South Carolina, some of the most common contributing factors included:
- Distracted Driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to the yield right of way
- Wrong-way driving
- Ignoring signs and signals
When someone is killed in a crash involving a negligent driver, certain family members can seek compensation for their loss through a wrongful death claim. These types of claims must be filed by a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Typically, this is a spouse. However, someone else may be appointed as executor.
Not sure if you have a valid claim for wrongful death in South Carolina? Contact a car accident attorney at David Blackwell Law to find out in a free consultation.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in South Carolina
The top causes of car crashes in South Carolina include:
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Distracted driving (e.g., texting behind the wheel, applying makeup, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio or climate controls, looking at navigation systems, etc.)
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving (e.g., tailgating, swerving, ignoring traffic signals, etc.)
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Bad weather
- Hazardous road conditions (e.g., loose gravel, potholes, missing signs, malfunctioning traffic signals, road work, etc.)
- Broken or defective car parts
After being hurt in a crash, it’s essential to speak with an experienced S.C. car accident attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies will start calling within hours to offer you a quick settlement. You can count on this first offer to be far lower than what you deserve.
At David Blackwell Law, we will perform a thorough investigation of your car accident claim to determine what it’s really worth. Then we’ll push for maximum compensation that reflects the true extent of your injuries and losses, including your pain and suffering. You deserve better than a lowball settlement, and you can rely on our team to fight for the best possible results for you.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury and death nationwide. Some of the most common types car accident injuries include:
- Whiplash, connective tissue or other neck trauma
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI) and paralysis
- Back injuries (e.g., herniated discs)
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Cuts and scrapes
- Chest injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue damage, such as muscle tears and ruptured tendons
The cost of medical treatment for car accident injuries is enormous. A broken arm or leg can easily cost thousands of dollars to repair — and tens of thousands of dollars for complex fractures requiring surgery. Car accident victims often face more expenses for needs such as rehabilitation and pain medications. Combined with missed wages from being forced to take time off work to heal, and the financial impact of a single collision can be devastating.
Additional Facts About South Carolina Car Accidents
Other things to know about South Carolina crashes:
- There’s an injury collision every 13.3 minutes.
- Driver error is the most common contributing factor in non-fatal collisions in South Carolina. Speeding, failure to yield, disregarding signs, following too closely, and driving under the influence are other leading factors.
- A property damage-only accident happens every 5.2 minutes.
- The majority of drivers involved in S.C. wrecks are male.
Research has shown that younger drivers are disproportionately involved in car accidents nationwide, due to their inexperience or a youthful perception that they are invincible. Many drivers in South Carolina crashes are young, between the ages of 15 and 24.
How to Prevent Car Accidents
Some of the most important ways to prevent car wrecks and reduce the risk of injury involve preparing for your trip ahead of time. Here are some tips:
- Designate a driver if you plan to drink. Call a taxi, Uber, or other rideshare service if you are unfit to drive.
- Never use illegal drugs. Remember that prescription and over-the-counter medications can also affect your driving abilities, so you should never hit the road without knowing about possible side effects.
- Don’t text and drive. It’s illegal in South Carolina. Using a hands-free device is still allowed, though it’s advisable not to answer your phone while driving.
- Leave early for appointments and activities. This can help reduce the chance that you’ll be tempted to speed or make poor decisions to get to your destination.
- Avoid driving at risky times. Driving at night or in poor weather conditions can increase the likelihood of an accident.
- Keep your car maintained. Have your car checked regularly to make sure that the tires, oil, fluids, brakes, windshield wipers, lights, and all essential parts are in good working order. Get repairs as needed.
- Help teens prepare for safe driving. Enroll your teenagers in a defensive driving course and set written expectations for what you expect out of them as a driver. Some parents do this as a written contract, coming up with consequences for breaking the rules along with their child.
- Avoid distracted driving. Pull over if you need to check directions, answer a phone call, reply to a text message, eat, or do anything else that could pull your attention from the road.
- Obey the posted speed limits. Slow down in construction zones and school zones. Drive slowly or pull over if the weather or road conditions are bad.
- Use your brights safely. In rural or poorly lit areas, your brights can help avoid hitting obstacles or animals in the roadway. Just be sure to turn them off around bends or when there is an oncoming car to avoid blinding the other driver.
Watch for environmental hazards: Trash, loose gravel, potholes, objects falling off other vehicles, road debris, or animals are all potential environmental dangers while driving.
- Don’t give in to road rage. Remain calm, no matter the other drivers’ actions. Don’t cut off another car, race past them, tailgate, or do anything to purposely distract or disturb another driver.
- Scan the road. Pay attention to other drivers’ behavior to anticipate when they might switch lanes, swerve into oncoming traffic, or make a wide turn.
- Use your turn signals. It helps other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists to know your intentions.
- Look out for irregular traffic patterns. One-way streets and traffic roundabouts can confuse drivers, especially those who are driving in unfamiliar areas.
- Have a plan for roadside emergencies. Make sure your spare tire is inflated. Keep jumper cables in the trunk in case your battery dies. Other good items to have in case of emergency include a cell phone charger, contact numbers for roadside assistance, a first-aid kit, bottles of water, snacks, a blanket, and roadside cones or flares.
When to Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Attorney
You should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a South Carolina traffic collision. An attorney can step in to help immediately. You can politely refer any calls from the insurance company to your lawyer, who will handle all talks with them so that you don’t accidentally say something to hurt your case.
It’s especially important to contact a lawyer if:
- You or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident.
- Someone was killed.
- There are disputes about who is to blame for the accident.
- The other driver didn’t have insurance or not enough insurance to cover your accident.
If you’re questioning whether you need a car accident lawyer, it’s better to seek one out for a free case review than to go into settlement negotiations on your own. There’s no obligation for a free consultation at David Blackwell Law, so you can get legal advice at no charge and with no strings attached.
How Can David Blackwell Law Help Me?
David Blackwell Law is a full-service South Carolina car accident law firm. We’ll handle all aspects of your claim from case open to case closed, with as little disruption to your life as possible. What’s most important is your health and healing. Our goal is to give you peace of mind by obtaining the full and fair amount of compensation you are owed.
You don’t need to worry about any upfront costs while we work on your case. David Blackwell Law takes cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only get paid if we win your case.
You can count on David Blackwell Law to:
- Listen to your story, help you understand your legal options, and patiently answer any questions you have about your case
- Give you the tools you need to make the best decisions for your personal situation while you’re on the road to recovery
- Handle all the paperwork and bureaucracy that comes with car accident claims, including completing forms for insurance adjusters and filing with the courts in a timely manner
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to help you get fair compensation
- Gather the evidence needed to prove your case, such as photographs, eyewitness accounts, and medical documents
Identify experts, such as medical consultants or accident reconstruction representatives, who can testify to support your claim
- Keep you continually updated about the status of your case so you don’t feel like you’re in the dark
- Give you the personal attention you deserve, get to know you and your family, and help you trust that we have your best interests in mind
- Pledge to you that we’ll maintain an open-door policy, so we’re available to speak with you whenever you need us
- Fight aggressively for your best interests with insurance companies and in court, and help you get justice and the maximum compensation you deserve
Don’t wait any longer to get on the road to recovery. Call a South Carolina car accident lawyer or fill out an online contact form to reach us today.