Traffic Accident Stats & How to Avoid Becoming One

One glance at your phone. One moment of inattention. One careless decision. At West Law Firm, we’ve heard the stories time and time again. Stories that bring clients to our office, injured in a car wreck and wondering how they’ll face a future that may look as damaged as their vehicle. Our experienced team has handled countless cases involving traffic accidents, and we can help secure the compensation you deserve.

As of September 15, 2019, there were 670 traffic fatalities in South Carolina – down from 728 during the same time period the year before.1 While this decline in overall traffic fatalities is encouraging, our state’s roadways remain incredibly dangerous. In fact, a recent Consumer Affairs study released in November 2019 ranked South Carolina state roads as the nation’s worst. The study addressed the following factors: amount spent per mile of road, motor crash fatalities on roads per mile, percentage of roads in poor, fair and good condition and a Consumer Affairs email survey.2

Various taxpayer-funded projects to improve roadways are already underway, with crews tasked with widening interstates, paving, and increasing the safety of our bridges and rural roads.

In the meantime, read these tips to help keep you and your family safe on the road!

  1. Stay focused – but expect other drivers not to. Despite the hands-free technology designed to keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, drivers must contend with bigger distractions than those on a pocket-sized screen. Whether they’re settling an argument between siblings, eating a quick breakfast on the way to work or adjusting the radio, many drivers’ attention is anywhere but the road ahead. It’s crucial to not only limit distractions in your own car, but to expect that the drivers around you are just as distracted. Watch for tell-tale signs of distracted driving, such as drifting out of the lane or driving too fast or slow. Leave at least a two-second space between your car and the one in front of you – and double that in poor driving conditions.
  2. Never drink and drive. It should go without saying that driving under the influence can be deadly, but the tragic fact remains that 30% of traffic deaths involve alcohol, accounting for 29 drunk driving fatalities a day.3 To keep a fun night from becoming a nightmare, don’t test your limits. If you’re going to drink, designate a driver beforehand, whether it’s a sober friend, taxi or rideshare service.
  3. Avoid the use of mobile devices. State law bans texting while driving but it’s best to avoid handling mobile devices altogether, with emergencies as the only exception. Because it’s hard to gather accurate data comparing distracted driving to drunk driving, many believe that distracted driving is, indeed, even more dangerous. Keep in mind that sending just one text while traveling at 55mph can take your eyes off the road for the length of an entire football field.
  4. Obey the speed limit. While this may seem obvious, there’s hardly a driver out there who obeys the speed limit every  time they’re behind the wheel. It’s tempting to speed when you’re running late, but keep in mind that the faster you’re going, the more severe a potential accident will be. Plus, going 10 over the limit won’t save you much time … but it could result in a speeding ticket – or worse, an accident.
  5. Wear your seat belt and make sure every passenger does the same. For most people, wearing a seat belt is second-nature but for others, it must become first priority. Did you know that seat belts saved nearly 15,000 lives in 2017?4 Teaching children the importance of wearing their seat belts, even for a quick drive around the block, helps form the habit early.
  6. Make sure your vehicle is in road-ready condition. Maintaining your vehicle is important – and not just when you’re preparing for a long-distance road trip. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, brake checks and tire rotations, not only keep your car in tip-top shape but prevent accidents and breakdowns. Also, be sure that anything you’re transporting or towing (furniture, jobsite materials, etc) is safely secured.

For more driving safety tips or to schedule your free initial consultation at our Moncks Corner, SC office, contact West Law Firm at 843-761-5626 or click here.

Sources

  1. South Carolina Department of Public Safety
  2. Consumer Affairs
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 

About West Law Firm, P.A.

Founded by H. Norman West in 1945, West Law Firm has served the Lowcountry for nearly 75 years.  Practice areas include personal injury, car wrecks, criminal defense, DUI defense, family law, wrongful death, land disputes, business litigation, probate and estate planning, and alternative dispute resolution.

West Law Firm, P.A.
207 Carolina Avenue
Moncks Corner SC 29461

 

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