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Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in South Carolina (2024)

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in South Carolina (2024)
Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

A car accident is a terrifying and traumatic situation, even when it is minor. More serious accidents can result in not only emotional and psychological harm but severe injuries, property damage, and long-term recovery. Understanding the common reasons car accidents occur could help you be more cautious and avoid accidents on the roadway. If you were involved in an accident, you need an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer to help you obtain the coverage you need.

South Carolina Car Accident Causes

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, fatal traffic collisions in 2020 were primarily caused by drivers 82.47% of the time, with the cause being non-motorists 15.25% of the time. Non-fatal collisions were primarily caused by drivers 94.12% of the time and by environmental causes 3.38% of the time. Other contributing factors listed were vehicle defects and roadways.

How Do Drivers Cause Accidents?

There are many reasons a driver may be at fault for an accident, including negligence, recklessness, misconduct, and malice, among others. The most common causes of driver-at-fault collisions include:

  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is anything that removes a driver’s attention, eyes, or focus from the roadway. This is the leading cause of accidents throughout the country. Directions, music, texting, eating, drinking, talking, and even daydreaming can constitute distracted driving.
  • Speeding: When drivers go over the posted speed limit, they limit the time they have to react to road changes and increase the speed and damage of a collision if it does occur. Drivers must also alter their speed in reaction to dangerous weather, road, or other conditions, and failure to do this also contributes significantly to accidents.
  • Ignoring Road Signs: Another form of reckless driving is failing to follow lights, signs, and other signals on the roadway. Running stop lights and stop signs, failing to yield the right-of-way, making improper turns, or illegal passing all commonly result in accidents.
  • Driving Under the Influence: It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and drivers who cause an accident while impaired can be held liable for civil damages and be charged with criminal offenses. Impaired drivers are more likely to cause accidents due to their limited ability to make rational decisions and their slower reaction speeds.
  • Aggressive Driving: This includes actions such as tailgating, changing lanes aggressively, or brake checking. Depending on the severity and intention of the at-fault driver, aggressive driving could be considered grossly negligent conduct and result in punitive damages for those injured.
  • Inexperienced Drivers: Teenage drivers and other inexperienced drivers are a common cause of car accidents. In many cases, they cause accidents by being distracted while driving.
  • Fatigued Driving: Driving tired is as dangerous as driving impaired, and it happens far more frequently. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel can drift into opposing traffic.

Non-Driver Causes of Accidents

Accidents can also be caused without the fault of any involved drivers. Other causes include:

  • Poor weather conditions
  • Vehicle component malfunctions and improper maintenance
  • Badly maintained and repaired roads
  • Blocked or hard-to-read road signs
  • Poor road design
  • Other individuals on the road

Determining the cause of a car accident is essential to determine who can be held liable for the injuries and other damages suffered by the victims of the accident.


Q: What Do You Do After a Car Accident in South Carolina?

A: If you are in a car accident in South Carolina, the first thing you should do is receive the emergency medical care you need. Then, report the accident. If the cars are on the road, do what you can to clear them or move safely out of the way.

When first responders arrive, receive medical care and file a report. Exchange insurance and contact information with the others involved in the accident. Document the scene of the accident. Then, contact an attorney to determine the next steps for an insurance claim.

Q: Is South Carolina a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents?

A: No, South Carolina is not a no-fault state for auto accidents. When multiple parties are involved in a car accident, all injured parties file insurance claims with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver to cover property damage and medical costs. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, drivers may then be able to file with their own provider. If multiple parties are at fault, each covers the same percentage of damages for which they were at fault.

Q: What Is the Maximum You Can Sue for a Car Accident?

A: The maximum amount for which you can file a claim depends on the severity and extent of your damages. Damages include property damage, lost income, and medical bills, among others.
First, damages are covered by an insurance claim with the at-fault driver.

If this does not cover the damages or if the driver is uninsured, you may be able to file with your own insurance company. If your damages still exceed this amount, the remainder of the damages could be obtained through a civil claim.

Q: What Is the Accident Rate in South Carolina?

A: As of 2020, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 89.15 injuries per 100 million miles of vehicle travel and 1.98 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. The report stated that there was one traffic collision every 4.3 minutes and one fatal traffic collision every 9.1 hours. Injury collisions happened every 16 minutes, and property damage collisions occurred every six minutes.

Contact Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

Although most drivers attempt to drive defensively and carefully, they cannot always prevent an accident. At Axelrod & Associates, P.A., we have more than 100 years of collective experience and have worked for years to represent individuals injured in car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, we can help you. We can investigate the accident, determine the cause, and identify who is liable for your injuries and damages. Contact our team today.

Call us at 843-916-9300 or fill out our contact form today.

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