At the end of last week your North Charleston auto accident lawyers discussed the some starling statistics showing South Carolina as some of the nation’s most dangerous and deadliest. Now, according to recent analysis released by AAA Carolinas, a major contributor to the fatalities are the rural roads outside located throughout the Palmetto State, and the study indicates that they are not likely to get any safer. According to a spokesman for the motor club, urban migration is a large factor in our state’s not so friendly forecast. As more and more people move to South Carolina’s metropolitan areas, limited highway funding will be allocated to serve roadways around suburbs and cities, and not those located “out in the country.”
Based on the study’s findings on the total vehicle miles driven and traffic fatalities in 2009 (the latest year for which numbers are available), it was determined that motorists and motorcyclists had the high chance of being killed in Lee and Dillon County, respectively. Following Lee County for the most dangerous roads were the rural Marlboro, McCormick, Clarenon, and Williamsburg counties. Collectively, these 5 counties represented 7-percent of South Carolina’s traffic deaths in 2009, while only accounting for 3-percent of the total vehicle miles driven, showing that even those roads less traveled can pose a serious danger to drivers.
The roads most travelled in the state, those in the most populated counties (Greenville, Charleston, and Richland), were shown to be the areas where motorists had the highest chance of being in an auto accident. Calhoun County, located just south of Columbia, revealed itself to be the county in which motorists had the least chance of being in a car accident in South Carolina.
While not the deadliest in terms of deaths per miles travelled, Horry County tallied the highest gross total of traffic fatalities in 2009 with 64. For those from outside the state, or those South Carolinians unfamiliar with a political map, Horry County contains Myrtle Beach as well as other smaller towns along the “The Grand Strand,” major tourist destinations for beach lovers.
Nonetheless, locations of tourist hot spots is not the information your Charleston trucking accident lawyers hope is gained from this entry, the intention rather is to pass on credible news as a means to educate our readers on the risks dangerous roads pose, as well as the risks that arise from unsafe driving practices.
The reason that South Carolina’s rural roads and highways are so dangerous can be attributed to a number of factors, including but not limited to the fact that they are narrow, often contain sharp twists and turns, and have little to no shoulder, all while having a limited number of police officers and state troopers to patrol them. Additionally, these roads are generally poorly lit, making them especially dangerous at night and creating the opportunity for a serious car accident to occur.
A few ways the number of fatal accidents can be reduced are for drivers to simply slow down when traveling along unfamiliar rural roads, always wearing a seat belt, paying close attention, and never drinking and driving.
They have been mentioned in an older blog post, but the following are some things to keep in mind if you are ever involved in an auto accident in South Carolina. Unless injuries make it necessary for you to leave the scene of the accident, remain there until you have completed all of the following procedures; call the police or highway patrol, assist the injured, move your vehicle to the side if obstructing traffic, identify the other driver(s) by getting names, addresses, and statements of witnesses, and jot down some notes and make a diagram of the accident. Also, since nearly also cell phones these days come equipped with a camera, it is a good idea to take a few photos of your vehicle and the accident scene.
South Carolina law requires drivers or owners of cars involved in an accident to report the incident within fifteen days to the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The investigating officer will give you a form (FR-10) to fill out to prove that you have the proper liability insurance.
Finally, make sure and report the accident to your insurance company. Failure to make a prompt and correct report may affect your rights. If you were injured, notify the company providing the applicable insurance (accident insurance, hospitalization, etc.) After the accident you have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company; however, you have no duty to give statements or sign any forms given to you by any of the other drivers’ insurance companies.