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National Study Highlights Safety Risks on South Carolina Roads

Car accident debris on highway

The Palmetto State has the highest car accident death rate in the nation

South Carolina drivers recently received the dubious distinction of being ranked the 3rd “worst drivers” in the country, according to a nationwide study conducted by Car Insurance Comparison.

In particular, the car accident death rate for South Carolina was 1.73 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven, the highest rate per capita of any state in the country. South Carolina also topped the list for several other accident criteria in the study, including having the highest cycling death rate in the U.S.

Why are South Carolina’s roads so dangerous? What earned the state such a high ranking among the worst drivers nationwide? And are South Carolina’s car accident statistics getting worse? Unfortunately, yes. Since the study was conducted, there have been even more car accident fatalities in South Carolina than ever before.

How bad are South Carolina’s drivers?

Car Insurance Comparison used 5 different criteria to compare car accident data from one state to another. These 5 criteria included:

  • Overall motor vehicle accident death rate
  • Speeding-related fatalities
  • Fatal car accidents caused by drunk drivers
  • Reckless accidents involving drivers without a license, not wearing their seatbelts, or ignoring other traffic laws
  • Accidents involving cyclists or pedestrians

Based on motor vehicle accident statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), South Carolina finished tied with Montana for the 3rd-worst state in the country.

Why do car accidents happen in South Carolina?

As we mentioned earlier, South Carolina had the highest per capita motor vehicle accident death rate of any state in the study – 1.73 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

South Carolina also came in last nationwide in terms of fatal car accidents involving cyclists. South Carolina’s per capita bicycle accident fatality rate was 0.5 deaths per 100,000 people, the most of any state nationwide.

Speeding-related car accidents are a big problem in South Carolina as well. According to the study, 45.85 percent of car accident fatalities involved speeders, the second-highest percentage of any state in the country.

Have accidents gotten worse in South Carolina?

Car Insurance Comparison based its recent nationwide study on NHTSA car accident data from 2019. Since then, South Carolina has set records in nearly every car accident category statewide, including a record number of car accident fatalities in a single year.

In 2020, a total of 1,064 people died in car accidents in South Carolina, the most fatalities in a single year in more than a decade, according to NHTSA statistics. In contrast, 1,006 people died in motor vehicle accidents in South Carolina in 2019. This is despite the fact that there were fewer drivers on the road in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Some of the largest increases occurred due to crashes caused by speeding drivers and drunk drivers. In 2020, there were 494 speeding-related fatalities in South Carolina, the most in more than a decade. Fatal car accidents caused by drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher reached a 4-year high of 315 deaths in 2020 as well in South Carolina.

In addition, pedestrian accident fatalities in 2020 were the highest in more than a decade. That year, 187 pedestrians died in accidents in South Carolina caused by drivers, according to NHTSA accident statistics.

Legal help is available for crash victims

If you or someone you love is injured in a crash that isn't your fault, a car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your losses. Unfortunately, injury claims often turn out to be much more complicated than they need to be. Often, it’s because the at-fault driver tries to pin some of the blame on you or denies doing anything wrong at all.

At Johnson + Johnson Attorneys At Law, our attorneys can fight for your rights every step of the way. We know the law and understand how the legal system works here. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success.

Discover what we can do for you. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation with a Lexington car accident attorney who will put your best interests first. We proudly handle injury claims throughout South Carolina.

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