Driving in the U.S. has become safer with each passing decade. Rampant drunk driving is one of the reasons that South Carolina is the fifth most lethal state in which to drive, with a 1.57 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. Back in 1964 there were 45,645 motor vehicle fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2013 there were 32,719, representing a considerable increase in safety per mile driven. In fact, in 1964 the rate of death was 5.39 per 100 million miles driven. In 2013 that rate was down to 1.11 per million miles driven. However, South Carolina is far behind the national average when it comes to motor vehicle safety. In 2013, South Carolina was the fifth most lethal state when it came to the rate of fatalities per mile (1.57 deaths per 100 million miles driven).
Why Are the Roads of South Carolina So Dangerous?
For one thing, in South Carolina, 43.7 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by drunk drivers, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Compare this to the national average of drunk-driving-caused fatalities, which is just under one third of all road deaths, and it becomes very clear that many drivers in South Carolina are unconcerned about their own personal safety and the safety of others. Other factors could include increased numbers of people becoming distracted by electronic devices, drowsy driving, and lack of regard for speed limits and other posted laws of the road.
How to Increase Your Safety and the Safety of Other Road Users
One of the fastest growing problems on the roads is the rampant use of cell phones. Automotive Fleet reports that 40 percent of all auto accidents include the use of a cell phone, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08. By turning off phones or putting them out of reach in the back of the car while driving, we can save hundreds of lives in South Carolina. Furthermore, by ensuring enough sleep at night, or turning off the road to rest when drowsiness sets in, countless more collisions can be avoided. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who got six to seven hours of sleep per night were twice as likely to be in an auto crash than those who slept for eight or more hours. Other measures to increase your safety include slowing down during inclimate weather, and, additionally, planning on a longer drive time; properly adjusting your rearview and side mirrors; keeping a safe distance between the car in front of you; and avoiding road rage conflicts by taking a few deep breaths and thinking before reacting.
The Connell Law Firm is Here to Help
We realize that even if all safety measures are taken to heart, accidents can still be unavoidable with other drivers who take risks by driving distracted or recklessly. If you or a loved one were injured in an auto collision, contact one of our experienced car accident attorneys at The Connell Law Firm, LLC. Call us today! We serve clients in Columbia, South Carolina, and all across the state.