Gas prices in South Carolina are much lower than they have been in recent years. According to Gas Buddy, the lowest price for regular gas in the last 36 hours in Charleston was $1.47 per gallon, with many other stations selling gas for around $1.60. As reported by the Daily Fuel Gauge Report from AAA, the current average in the nation for a gallon of gas is $1.826. A year ago, the price was well more than $2 per gallon. In South Carolina, the trend is the same – the average price per gallon of gas in the state today is $1.628, a year ago, the price was more than 20 cents higher.
While lower gas prices in South Carolina provide welcome relief to drivers’ budgets, there is also a downside to cheap gas. Specifically, increased traffic deaths as a result of lower gas prices are a real concern.
Lower Gas Prices Cause More Driving, More Crashes, More Deaths
As gas gets cheaper, which is usually more common in the second half of the year during the summer months, drivers tend to log more miles, as there is less of a financial consequence.
In a study cited by NPR News, a 20-cent decline in gas prices in Minnesota was linked to an additional 15 traffic deaths per year. When the sociologist behind the study, Guangqing Chi, was asked what would happen if gas prices were to drop by $2, he told the NPR reporter that a $2 decrease in gas prices would translate to about 9,000 extra road fatalities per year. The interview was conducted at a time when gas prices were still above $2 per gallon nationwide.
What Lower Gas Prices Mean for You
Lower gas prices in South Carolina could mean more drivers on the road. More drivers on the road could mean a greater risk of an accident. If you, like others in South Carolina, plan to take advantage of the decrease in the cost of gas, be sure to do so safely. Always buckle up, drive defensively, put away distractions, and never drive while impaired or while fatigued.
Further, be sure to maintain your vehicle, including replacing worn tires and bad brakes. Try to avoid driving during the most congested times of the day, and plan your route in advance. If a traffic accident is reported, choose a different route.
Contact an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney
Hopefully, you will be able to enjoy the lower gas prices in South Carolina without any problems. If you are involved in a car accident this year, however, be sure to take action quickly by calling an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney.