In 2012, 863 people died in car accidents in South Carolina, an increase of 35 over 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of these accidents, 533 involved a single vehicle, 316 involved speedings as a factor, 210 involved a rollover, 477 involved a roadway departure and 156 took place at an intersection.
In 2012, 1,153 drivers were involved in fatal car crashes in South Carolina. (NHTSA)
In fatal accidents in South Carolina during 2012, 313 of those who died were not wearing a seatbelt. (NHTSA)
In South Carolina in 2012, 358 people died in alcohol-impaired driving accidents where a driver had a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, the legal limit. (NHTSA). There were 123 pedestrians killed in South Carolina car accidents in 2012. (NHTSA)
For January to October 2013, preliminary data from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) show traffic fatalities are on track to be more than 10 percent below the 2012 total. Fatalities on primary roads in South Carolina have decreased considerably so far in 2013 compared to the previous three years. Fatalities on secondary roads have remained constant and interstate fatalities have decreased by 20 so far in 2013.
DUI is by far the leading cause of South Carolina traffic fatalities, with 166 so far in 2013. DUI-related fatalities have increased more than 40 percent from 2010 and 10 percent more than in 2011 and 2012. (SCDOT)
Greenville County has the most fatalities so far in 2013 with 56. Richland County has had 52, an increase of 25 percent over 2012 and more than 50 percent over 2010 and 2011. (SCDOT)
Car accidents are the leading killer of children, teens and young adults age 5 to 34, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Crashes are among the top 10 causes of death for all ages.
The CDC stresses that car accidents are preventable and recommends the following evidence-based strategies that are proven to save lives and money:
Car accidents have a huge impact on victims’ lives but also have a huge economic impact. Each year in South Carolina, motor vehicle crash-related deaths cost $1.1 billion — $8 million in medical costs and $997 million in lost work productivity. (CDC)