It’s a remarkable thing, really, the hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks, and people that don’t crash into one another in the constant flow of crossings and turns at highway intersections. But an intersection is where a car accident is most likely to happen, and analysis shows some particular intersections in Charleston, S.C., are much more dangerous than others.
If you drive in Charleston or surrounding communities, you probably travel some of the most likely places to have a car accident. And, for better or worse, you’ll probably recognize them below.
Collision data from the S.C. Department of Public Safety collected and analyzed by Live 5 News (WCSC) and The Post and Courier of Charleston tell us where intersection accidents are most likely to happen in the Lowcountry.
The TV station and newspaper agree: the intersection at Ashley Phosphate Road and Interstate 26 is the most dangerous in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. The 629 motor vehicle crashes there from 2011 to 2015 equate to one every three days.
There were 65 percent more car accidents at Ashley Phosphate and I-26 than at the No. 2 site for accidents at intersections, I-26 Exit 203 at College Park Road. There were more than 380 accidents at this intersection, which is just across the Berkeley County line north of Charleston.
The No. 3 most dangerous intersection in the area based on the number of accidents is the Carnes Crossroads intersection of U.S. 17-A (S. Live Oak Drive) and U.S. 176 (St. James Avenue). There were 117 accidents there in the period studied.
The remainder of the Top 10 dangerous Charleston intersections based on the number of car accidents are:
- Rivers Avenue at Otranto Road
- Sam Rittenberg Boulevard at S.C. 61
- U.S. 17 at Houston Northcutt Boulevard
- I-26 at U.S. 78
- I-526 at North Rhett
- Rivers at Greenridge Road
- I-26 at Cosgrove Avenue.
Why Do Most Accidents Happen at Intersections?
It is the fact that cars at intersections are crossing lanes of traffic, turning left in front of oncoming traffic and turning right to merge with traffic that makes intersections dangerous. There are multiple opportunities for a driver to make a mistake at an intersection that leads to an accident.
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says about 40 percent of car accidents are intersection-related and 96 percent of intersection accidents are caused by driver error. The most common errors are:
- Not looking well enough before turning
- Misjudging another driver’s action or intention
- Misjudging the speed of an oncoming vehicle and/or the distance between vehicles
- Making illegal maneuvers (e.g., running a red light or stop sign, illegal passing, etc.)
- Driving while distracted (i.e., internal distraction such as a cellphone, or inattention)
- Turning with an obstructed view.
Typically, an intersection accident occurs because one vehicle has violated another vehicle’s right of way. A driver pulls into traffic and either hits or is hit by another car. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) says in 2017, 890 people were killed in crashes that involved running red lights – more than two people a day.
Many intersection accidents involve the front of a car hitting the side of another, which may be described as a:
- T-bone accident
- Right-angle accident
- Angle accident
- Broadside accident.
Rear-end accidents and sideswipes also occur at intersections, as do deadly head-on collisions when a driver misjudges their turn or the intersection layout and turns into traffic coming from the opposite direction.
Intersection Accidents Continue to Happen in Charleston
Month after month, intersection accidents in the Charleston area continue to injure and kill people and disrupt lives:
- In June 2019, a three-vehicle rush-hour collision on Ashley River Road at the intersection of Crull Drive sent two people to the hospital.
- In May, a husband and wife died and their three children were hospitalized when a driver ran a stop sign at the intersection of Halfway Creek Road and Steed Creek Road in Charleston County. The driver of the truck that ran the stop sign and his two children were also hospitalized.
- In April, four people were hospitalized after an accident at the intersection of S.C. 41 and Halfway Creek Road.
- In March, at the same intersection – C. 41 and Halfway Creek Road – four people, including two children, were hospitalized with serious injuries after a two-vehicle collision.
- In February, a 73-year-old man was hit by a car and killed at the intersection of Rivers Avenue and Otranto Road in North Charleston.
- In January, a drunk driver ignored a red light early one morning and killed a 32-year-old tourist from Illinois at the intersection of Meeting and Columbus streets in Charleston. Four others were hospitalized after this intersection accident just blocks away from the Charleston waterfront.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Charleston, SC
If you or a loved one of yours has been injured in a Charleston-area intersection accident or any kind of motor vehicle accident, contact the SC car accident attorneys of Joye Law Firm in Charleston for assistance. After suffering serious injuries and monetary loss that was someone else’s fault, you need someone who knows the law and can advocate for your rights and interests. Our attorneys have nearly 250 years of combined experience with personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Contact Joye Law Firm in North Charleston today about your car accident or fill out our free accident questionnaire. There is no charge to talk with us about your case and no obligation to choose us as your attorneys after we’ve met. We don’t even charge a fee unless and until we recover money for you. Don’t delay. Get in touch today.