6 Most Common Car Accident Causes in South Carolina

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Marleny Hucks
Marleny Huckshttp://MyrtleBeachSC.com
Marlene (or Marleny as she is known in Spanish) is a mentor, teacher, cross-cultural trainer, storyteller, writer, and for those who have been under her leadership or simply sat across the table from her, she is a mirror of destiny. Her love of word and image were formed early on by one of her heroes, Dr. Seuss. If you asked those who know her well, they would describe her a compassionate, funny, wise, curious, honest, real, strong, sensitive and totally human which comes out as she teaches and writes. She sees all of life, even the most mundane, through faith and believes that who we become as we live this side of the veil is what matters not the journey itself or our circumstances. Marleny Hucks has spent her life crossing bridges. She comes from a diverse background of ministry roles and contexts as well as has transitioned in and out of the business world. Having lived outside the country as well as traveled extensively she has a fascination with culture causes her to live her life within a global mosaic no matter where her feet are planted. Marlene currently lives in South Carolina with her husband David, who owns a news company but who she says is a “crime fighter”, bringing light into darkness in their systems of their city. Marleny currently works as a content management specialist covering Myrtle Beach News for MyrtleBeachSC News.

Car accident statistics in South Carolina are hard to believe. In 2019, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety announced that there had been one reported traffic collision every 3.7 minutes, one fatal collision every 9.4 hours, and one person killed every 8.7 hours. Perhaps even more sobering was knowing someone was injured every nine minutes, and a child under eight was seriously injured or killed every 5.4 days. 

These statistics can be shocking and hard to comprehend, but tens of thousands of collisions happen in South Carolina each year. Typically, these accidents occur for some of the following reasons. 

Driving Too Fast for the Conditions

Ask any lawyer from a firm like the Jebaily Law Firm, and you will likely hear driving too fast for the conditions listed as one of the most common reasons for car accidents. Drivers who don’t obey posted speed limits might fail to stop in time for obstacles or fail to navigate corners, leading to devastating car accidents that turn victims’ lives upside down. In 2019, driving too fast for the conditions was a contributing factor in over 39,000 collisions. Out of those accidents, over 217 people died, and over 760 were seriously injured. 

Failing to Yield Right of Way

Failure to yield describes a driver not allowing a vehicle with the right of way to proceed. Sometimes, this can result in an accident when both parties start driving, even though only one is following the established road rules. Failing to yield right-of-way accidents in South Carolina are among the most common in the state, with over 28,600 reported in 2019, resulting in 100 people dying and over 550 being seriously injured. 

Improper Lane Usage/Change

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, improper lane usage and lane changes are costing dozens of people their lives each year. In 2019, nearly 12,000 accidents were reported, with this reason seen as a contributing factor, and 22 people died. Over 100 also sustained severe injuries. 

Improper lane usage or lane changes mean that a vehicle is moving from one lane to another in an unsafe manner. Sometimes, this can mean they don’t indicate or don’t allow enough space for other motorists on South Carolina roads

Following Too Closely

The National Safety Council has long recommended that motorists should follow three seconds behind the driver in front of them. This often gives you enough time to respond safely to a hazard in front of you, such as another vehicle. 

While it might seem challenging to know how to position your car three seconds behind the one in front of you, it can be as easy as identifying a car passing a roadside marker, a tree, or a sign and counting the time it takes for you to reach that exact spot. 

However, the vehicle you’re driving might also contribute to how much space you provide the cars in front of you. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends truck drivers provide at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length if they’re traveling over 40 miles an hour and an additional second for over 40 miles an hour. 

As easy as it is to give a motorist ahead of you the necessary breathing space, not all South Carolina drivers do. Following too closely was seen as contributing to over 11,100 accidents in 2019 in which one person lost their life and 30 were seriously injured. 

Distraction and Inattention

Our vehicles are full of the latest and greatest technology and gadgets. We have GPS, stereos, phones, cameras, and other equipment. Such technology can be helpful and necessary for many situations but can also be distracting. In 2019, nearly 9,000 accidents were related to inattention and distraction, with seven people dying and 107 people being seriously injured. 

You might think glancing down at your phone to see who has sent a text message won’t cause any harm, but that moment of inattention might be all it takes to collide with a vehicle in front of you. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed over 3,100 lives across the United States in 2020 alone, and such deaths were a driving force for many states enforcing laws against distractions like cellphone use in vehicles. 

Disregarding Signs and Signals

An intentional or unintentional disregard for signs and signals contributed to the deaths of 32 people and the severe injuries of 195 more in 2019. Such car accidents can happen for many reasons, such as not seeing a speed limit sign, being impaired by alcohol and failing to give way or stop, or being distracted and not noticing a traffic signal changing to red. Failure to see signs might not always be intentional, but that doesn’t change the outcome. Many people’s lives have changed forever due to such mistakes. 

South Carolina is full of excellent drivers, but there are also a number of drivers who don’t follow the laws and rules established to keep everyone safe on the road. The next time you’re driving in South Carolina, take a moment to remember these statistics. You might then be able to keep yourself and other drivers safe as you travel to and from your destinations.

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