Preliminary reports by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety shows that the total number of traffic fatalities on South Carolina roadways in 2016 totaled nine-hundred seventy-five (975) deaths. This number shows that the total was only a small drop from the 2015 total of nine-hundred seventy-nine (979), but significantly higher that the 2014 total of eight-hundred twenty-three (823) and the 2013 total of seven-hundred sixty-seven (767). The 2016 traffic fatalities include six-hundred thirty-five (635) motor vehicle occupants, one-hundred thirty-seven (137) pedestrian accidents, one-hundred thirty-five (135) motorcycle accidents and twenty-five (25) people riding bicycles. By region, Charleston County totaled 44 traffic fatalities. Berkeley had thirty-two (32) and Dorchester County had thirty (30).
Protect Yourself on South Carolina’s Roadways
As drivers on South Carolina roadways we owe each other a duty to be safe and operate our vehicles in a reasonable manner. Although preventing any and all accidents is not realistic, there are certain things we can all be mindful of to minimize the number of car accidents and traffic fatalities on the road. First, we should always wear seatbelt. Out of the nine-hundred seventy-five (975) fatalities in 2016, three-hundred twenty-two (322) of those were noted not to be wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt at all times is the single most important thing you can actively do to protect yourself while riding in a vehicle.
It is also known that no one should ever drink and drive. In this day and age of taxis and Uber, there is no excuse for drinking and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Studies have shown that driving with a blood-alcohol content of .05%, still within the legal limit, doubles your risk of being involved in an automobile accident. Likewise, we should also make conscious efforts to minimize distractions while driving. Recent studies are now showing that texting while driving can be even more dangerous than drinking and driving.
Bringing Awareness to South Carolina Residents
The awareness of traffic fatalities has increased with the recent establishment of South Carolina’s Target Zero Program. We have likely all seen the television commercials and roadway signs constantly updating drivers on traffic fatalities. Bringing awareness to the dangers of traffic fatalities is the first step in minimizing deaths on South Carolina’s roadways. The problem with a traffic fatality is that it’s one of those things in life where nobody believes it can happen to them until it is too late. Unfortunately, accidents will always happen but we each to make an effort to do our part to limit the likelihood of them happening.
As a wrongful death attorney representing families of people who have been killed on South Carolina’s roadways, I believe that a certain part of my job is to bring awareness to these situations. Whether it’s by writing or speaking to people about the dangers of traffic accidents, or trying cases and letting verdicts speak throughout our community. For example, I believe that a jury verdict against a drunk driver can be a deterrence to other members of the public not to drink and drive. We all know about the criminal consequences for drinking and driving, but the more that people understand there may be civil consequences for drinking and driving or driving while texting will go a long way to deter people’s willingness to do so and make our roadways safer for all.
Get Help from a South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney
If someone in your family has been killed in an automobile accident, I would strongly urge you to seek advice from an experienced car accident attorney about your loved one’s claim. Dealing with the lost of a loved one is one of the hardest things a family can ever go through. The last thing you need to be doing is dealing with an insurance adjuster contacting you trying to get information or statements about the accident. I am happy to speak with you if you have any legal questions about a possible claim or need any help navigating the legal system to prosecute your loved one’s claim.