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Top 3 Causes of Car Accidents in South Carolina

A traffic crash occurs about every 10 seconds on a U.S. roadway.1 While any number of factors can contribute to an auto wreck, research indicates that the following are the leading causes of traffic collisions in both South Carolina and across the nation:

  1. Drivers – Federal transportation safety authorities have reported2 that at least 94 percent of all traffic crashes that take place in the U.S. each year are caused by some type of human error – and that, oftentimes, these crash-causing errors are committed by drivers. Some of the most common forms of driver negligence that play a role in causing traffic crashes include:
    • Impaired driving – With a BAC of 0.08 (i.e., the legal limit across the U.S.), motorists are at least four times more likely to be involved in a crash. This elevated risk is usually the result of the impaired perception, coordination problems and delayed reaction times all caused by alcohol impairment.
    • Distracted driving – Motorists who fail to focus on the road tend to exhibit the same impairments as drunk drivers. In fact, some studies have indicated that distracted drivers are about 6 times more likely to be involved in traffic accidents than impaired drivers.
    • Aggressive or reckless driving – This refers to any failure to abide by traffic laws. Although research has yet to quantify the degree to which noncompliance with traffic laws can increase motorists’ crash risk, it should not be a big surprise to drivers that failing to follow traffic laws can put them (and those around them on the roads) at risk of a serious auto accident.
    • Drowsy driving – Usually more problematic among commercial motorists (like truckers), drowsy driving can cause similar impairments to drunk or distracted driving. In fact, some research has revealed that drivers who get behind the wheel after 24 hours of no sleep (i.e., 24 consecutive hours awake) tend to display impairments similar to motorists who have BACs of about 0.10 (well over the legal limit).
  2. Vehicle-related issues – Another factor that commonly contributes to traffic crashes (both in South Carolina and throughout the U.S.) is vehicle equipment defects, which can impact motorists’ abilities to safely control cars. When such defects impact vital vehicle features – like the brakes, ignition system and/or tires, the risk of a crash can skyrocket.
  3. Road conditions – Not necessarily a primary cause of traffic collisions, poor roadway conditions can significantly increase motorists crash risk, especially if or when drivers are less than sober, alert or compliant with traffic laws. Common examples of poor road conditions include (and are not limited to):
    • A lack of traffic signs and/or lane dividers
    • Broken traffic signals
    • Objects or debris being left in the road.

Hurt in a Car Crash? Contact the Columbia SC Injury Attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you have been injured in any type of traffic accident, contact the Columbia SC injury attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your recovery options, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.

Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.


1: All data reported herein is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

2: As the NHTSA reported in February 2016

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