South Carolina Accident Statistics – Danger by the Numbers
From 2000 to 2016, the annual number of miles driven on South Carolina roads increased by 19%. That brought the total to 54 billion miles each year.
Of course, other states had more miles driven in 2016. By comparison, Wake County, North Carolina alone had 11.75 billion vehicle miles traveled in 2019 – 20% of South Carolina’s 2016 state total. Unfortunately, South Carolina’s roads are among the deadliest. Whether simply in terms of car accidents with injuries, or fatal accidents, the numbers are eye-opening.
Fatality Statistics on South Carolina Roads According to IIHS Data
In 2018, South Carolina was the deadliest state in the US per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For every hundred million miles driven on the state’s roads, 1.83 people died. The next closest state to that rate was Mississippi at 1.63 deaths per million miles traveled. If you rank the numbers by population instead of miles driven, South Carolina still has the second highest fatality rate in the country at 20.4 deaths per 100,000 population. First place was Mississippi at 22.2.
In total, 1,037 people died on South Carolina roads in 2018. About 65% were in cars, trucks, or SUVs. There were 141 motorcyclists killed, along with 165 pedestrians. According to the numbers, 45% of fatal accidents involved multiple vehicles. Finally, 66% of road fatalities were classified as happening on rural roads.
What Causes Fatal Collisions in South Carolina?
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), it’s mostly on drivers. According to the data drawn from South Carolina Form TR—310 – which is completed by the investigating officer – drivers are noted as the cause of more than 82% of fatal collisions. Non-motorists account for just over 15%. Vehicle defects, environmental factors, and roadway conditions combine to account for fewer than 3% of causes for fatal collisions.
A Note on Collision and Injury Numbers
It is important to remember that the number of injuries and the number of accidents will vary based on the criteria chosen to measure them. There will be more injuries than there are collisions with injuries, for example, because more than one person can be harmed in each collision. There are also official delineations between “serious” and “other” injuries, along with other criteria to consider. So, if it seems like the numbers are different from source to source, it’s because they use different criteria.
Injury Statistics on South Carolina Roads According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety
SCDPS assembles fact books with their compiled yearly statistics. It does not take much reading to discover that South Carolina’s roads host an inordinate number of accidents each year. In 2018, there were more than 38,000 collisions with injury in the state.
Of those, 2,174 were considered “serious injury” collisions, with the rest being classified as “other injury” collisions. In total, there were 58,053 injuries reported on South Carolina roads in 2018 – a decrease from more than 60,500 the year before.
In roughly 95% of collisions with injuries, driver error was cited as the source. Of the 38,138 non-fatal injury collisions reported, speed “too fast for conditions” was cited as a contributing factor in 11,121 cases. Failure to yield the right of way was a contributing factor in 8,845 of them. These two factors combined are noted as contributing to more than 52% of injury collisions. Of the 969 fatal collisions, 218 cited speed and 91 cited failure to yield, which amounts to nearly 32%.
When Collisions With Injuries and Fatalities Happen in South Carolina
The most dangerous three months for South Carolina drivers in 2018 were May, August, and October, which accounted for 322 traffic fatalities – 31% of the year’s total. May, June, and October were the worst months for serious injuries. The month with the most injuries total was October, making it the most dangerous month, statistically speaking.
The deadliest day of the week to drive in South Carolina in 2018 was Saturday, accounting for 201 of the state’s 1,036 fatalities. Serious injuries were most common on Friday, which accounted for 464 of its 2,642 serious injuries. Friday was also the day on which more injuries of any type happened, accounting for more than 10,000 total injuries.
The worst time of day to drive, according to injury data, was between 3-6pm. The deadliest time to drive was between 6-9pm.
Where Collisions With Injuries and Fatalities Happen in South Carolina
The most dangerous roads to drive in South Carolina in terms of total collisions, injuries, and fatalities in 2018 were secondary routes. The South Carolina Highway Patrol was responsible for investigating 81% of fatal collisions, and more than two thirds of serious injury collisions. Among Interstates, I-26 had the most fatalities with 39, the most serious injury collisions with 44, and the most “other” injury collisions with 961.
If You’ve Been Injured in a South Carolina Car Accident, Call Us
We understand that being injured in a car accident can turn your life upside down. Why not let a South Carolina car accident attorney handle the details so you can focus on your recovery? Call us any time, 24/7 at 866-900-7078 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Tell them you mean business!