car accident as result of reckless driving

According to an analysis by Insurify, Charleston, South Carolina ranks No. 12 on a national list of the cities with residents who have the most car accidents.

The data science team at Insurify, an online site for comparing auto insurance rates, said nearly 2 in 10 drivers (18.06%) in Charleston had a car accident on their records that they caused.

The list of U.S. cities with the most car accidents in 2020 was compiled from a database of more than 2.5 million car insurance applications. Insurify says it rated cities according to the number of local drivers who reported one or more types of car accidents on their record for which they were at fault.

The numbers indicate the cities with the highest share of accident-prone drivers. Insurify identified the 20 cities with the highest proportion of accident prone drivers as the cities with the most accidents. Seven of the 20 cities with the most accidents were located in South Carolina in the Insurify rankings.

No. 1 on the National list is Johns Island, just outside of Charleston, where 21.6% of drivers have a prior at-fault car accident on their record.

Across the country, 12% of drivers have an accident they caused on their record, Insurify says. Compared to the national average, the 20 cities with the most accidents have at least 40% more accident-prone drivers.

Drivers Who’ve Caused Car Accidents Across South Carolina and North Charleston

According to the S.C. Department of Public Safety’s (SCDPS) Traffic Fatalities Dashboard, 1,025 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in South Carolina in 2020. There were 69 people killed in car accidents in Charleston County in 2020.

Numerous statistical counts indicate that South Carolina has more fatal car accidents than other states. The FY 2021 State of South Carolina Highway Safety Plan says that in 2018, the motor vehicle death rate in South Carolina was 1.82 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That’s approximately 61% higher than the national VMT rate.

“The VMT rate in South Carolina increased by 10.3% from 2014 through 2018 while the population increased by 5.4% during that period,” the report says.

Charleston Car Crash Statistics

The report shows 1,404 fatal and severe injury collisions in Charleston County from 2014 to 2018, an average of 351 per year. Approximately, one of every 12 collisions in South Carolina occurred in Charleston County.

Besides providing a wealth of statistics, the S.C. Highway Safety Plan also describes programs to counter the problems and trends described, which would be partially funded by federal grants.

Causes of Car Accident Fatalities in South Carolina

The S.C. Highway Safety Plan says negligent or reckless drivers accounted for two thirds of motor vehicle-related fatalities in South Carolina during 2014-2018.

The 694 driver deaths in 2018 represented a 30.7% increase compared to 2014 (531 deaths) and 9.16% more than the average number for the years 2014 to 2018.

Other deaths in fatal motor vehicle accidents in South Carolina were:

  • Older drivers (65+) (17.6% of the four-year total and about 170 fatalities annually)
  • Passengers (16.6%, 161 fatalities annually)
  • Motorcycle riders (16.1%, 156 fatalities annually)
  • Pedestrians (14.3%, 139 fatalities annually)
  • Young (under 21) drivers (12.5%, 121 fatalities annually).

The three major causes of car accident deaths in South Carolina from 2014 to 2018 were:

  • Speeding, averaging about 386 deaths per year and accounting for approximately 40% of total traffic fatalities
  • Alcohol-impaired driving, averaging 315 deaths per year and accounting for approximately 33% of total traffic fatalities
  • Failure to wearing seat belts, averaging about 307 deaths per year and accounting for approximately 32% of total traffic fatalities.

The only decline among the three categories in South Carolina occurred among alcohol-impaired driving traffic fatalities. Overall, there was a net decrease of 40 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities between 2014 and 2018. Even so, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities made up 28% of total traffic fatalities in South Carolina in 2018.

The 447 speeding-related fatalities in South Carolina in 2018 represented a substantial increase (20.57%) compared to the average of the prior four years, and an even larger increase when compared to the 2014 total.

Unbelted passenger vehicle occupant fatalities fluctuated, with an increase over the 2014-2018 period of 20% in 2018 as compared to 2014 and a 9.45% increase relative to the average of the previous four years. South Carolina’s 2014-2018 population-based unbelted passenger vehicle occupant fatality rate (6.19 deaths per 100,000 population) was much higher than the U.S. rate of 2 deaths per 100,000 population.

When to Contact a Charleston Car Crash Attorney

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by someone else, you should speak to an experienced car accident attorney about your legal options. South Carolina law allows surviving family members to bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party to help ease the financial burden of medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of financial support from their deceased relative.

After your life has been shattered by an auto accident, the North Charleston car accident lawyers of Joye Law Firm can help put the pieces back together. Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Clinton and Myrtle Beach, SC, and we accept cases from across South Carolina.

Call us at 877-941-1019 or contact us online for a free initial legal consultation. We can meet wherever is convenient for you, including in a virtual meeting.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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