Sobering data released from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration revealed that in July of 2015, car accident fatalities were up 7.7 percent across the country. South Carolina’s state figures indicated a year-over-year traffic death increase of slightly more than double that: 16 percent.
South Carolinians’ lack of regard for roadway safety was the number one contributing factor, said S.C. Highway Patrol officials, citing that the typical causes of a fatal accident in the state were avoidable.
Anyone who suffers injuries, or loses a loved one in such an accident may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, loss and suffering. South Carolina roads may be dangerous, but some form of protection and care should be available to those who travel on them.
Looking for ways to explain the dramatic increase, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety attributed the rise to many possible factors; these include distracted drivers, poorly-maintained rural roads and a larger number of vehicles on the road.
Another major contributor was the low number of state troopers on duty. Visible patrol vehicles on the highways act as a deterrent, sending a clear warning to speedy or reckless drivers. Low pay opportunity was the number one reason for recent trooper turnover, something the state attempted to remedy last September with some increases.
Ideally, says the DPS, the state would have 950 to 1,000 troopers on the road at any given time. The current average number stands around 760, keeping in mind many officers leave their usual highway duty to assist in situations like rallies, natural disasters, or criminal activity. “There are a lot of facets that have an effect on traffic fatalities,” DPS Lt. Kelley Hughes told The State. “What we have control of is education and enforcement.”
Although the DPS was quick to assume its own responsibility related to car accident fatalities, they also noted the role of careless Palmetto State drivers in causing the accidents. Top reasons for fatal accidents include drunk driving, speeding, failure to yield, lack of seatbelt use, as well as pedestrians walking in unsafe areas or laying on roadways. Interestingly enough, the increase in fatal crashes has a direct correlation with gas prices.
“Those are all avoidable,” lamented S.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres. “Everyone has a stake in this and can help us by making the right choices.” The DPS also created a public awareness campaign, reminding drivers how important it is to stay alert and responsible. If you or a loved one has been injured or lost a life as a result of another driver’s actions in South Carolina, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses and expenses. Contact a South Carolina car accident attorney today to fight for your right to reimbursement for an accident that would never have occurred without another driver’s neglect.
Call (704) 307-4350 for a free case evaluation today. You can have confidence in the many years of professional experience our attorneys have with cases involving car accident fatalities and injuries.