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Is Reckless Driving the New Normal in South Carolina?

graphic showing a car speeding. A silver car drives through blue and red blur lines on a black background.

Traffic safety experts say speeding continues to plague our nation's roads.

Car accidents caused by speeding have become a common cause of traffic fatalities nationwide and throughout South Carolina, especially during the pandemic, according to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

“The empty roads probably tempted pandemic-stressed drivers to put the pedal down,” Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research at IIHS, said in a statement. “But information collected since the lockdowns ended and the roads filled back up suggests that risky driving has become the new normal.”

Speeding spikes nationwide

The IIHS based its recent traffic study on nationwide accident data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and on speed data collected by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Between March 2020 and June 2020, IIHS researchers found that 50 percent more drivers traveled 10 mph over the speed limit compared to the same four-month period in 2019. In addition, the same drivers also engaged in “other forms of risky driving,” including not wearing a seatbelt, according to the IIHS traffic safety study.

And even though fewer drivers were on the road in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, speeding-related fatalities increased nationwide in both years, including a 5 percent increase in car accident fatalities in 2021 due to speeding drivers, the IIHS reported.

South Carolina speeding statistics

If you thought speeding-related accidents were bad nationwide, they have become an even worse problem in South Carolina. In 2020, speeding-related car accident fatalities hit a record high in South Carolina.

According to the NHTSA, 494 people died in South Carolina speeding accidents in 2020, representing an increase of 7.6 percent compared to 2019. The 2020 figure was the highest car accident death toll in South Carolina due to speeding drivers in more than a decade. Overall, speeding-related accidents accounted for 46.4 percent of all car accident fatalities in South Carolina in 2020. Unfortunately, similar statistics were not available for 2021.

Crash victims have recourse through the civil justice system.

You might think you don’t need a lawyer if a speeding driver caused your South Carolina car accident. However, even if a local police officer or state trooper from the South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating your crash, be aware that their investigation will only focus on whether the at-fault driver broke any laws. They’re not concerned with whether you’re fairly compensated for your losses.

That’s our job. At Johnson + Johnson, Attorneys At Law, we know how to investigate serious accidents, find the facts that matter, build strong cases, and advocate for the compensation our clients deserve. If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash caused by a reckless driver in South Carolina, our attorneys can review the details of your case and explain your available legal options during your free case evaluation.

In addition, we also offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we win your case, and it doesn't cost you anything up front for us to get started on your case. It's that easy. Discover what we can do for you. Contact us today and schedule an appointment with an experienced car accident attorney from our law office in Lexington, South Carolina.

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