A 72-year-old motorist from Greenwood was killed and another 60-year-old Saluda driver suffered serious injuries in a three-car crash on Feb. 7. Police blame that accident on a hit and run driver who made unsafe lane changes. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is continuing its accident investigation.
Intersections may be particularly fatal for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The United States suffered 8,766 fatalities in intersection or intersection related crashes in 2012. This is a 5.4 percent increase from the 8,317 deaths in these accidents in this country in 2011. South Carolina suffered 863 traffic deaths in 2012 of which 156 were related to an intersection or intersection-related car accident. There were 142 fatalities in intersection crashes reported in the state one year earlier.
As reported in earlier blogs, South Carolina and Montana are the only two states that do not have a comprehensive ban on distracted driving. Cities in South Carolina have enacted differing bans on this behavior.
Motorists and pedestrians face the risk of injury from other cars and trucks. However, vehicles that transport students also may pose dangers to the occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians in addition to their own occupants.
South Carolina is one of a few states without an outright ban on texting while driving. As a result, drivers in the state face inconsistent rules on distracted driving and penalties, depending on which county and municipality they are driving in. The inconsistent laws and uncertainty can have a lethal impact.
Operating motorcycles has become a public health "concern" according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reported that between 2001 and 2008, more than 34,000 motorcyclists died and an estimated 1.2 million persons were treated in emergency departments for a non-fatal motorcycle-related injuries.
Speeding drivers pose a risk to motorists and pedestrians and is a major reason why a car accident happens every 10 seconds somewhere in the United States.
A recent blog discussed local efforts to prohibit drivers from using cell phones and texting because South Carolina is one of three states that have no general prohibition against motorists using electronic devices. While governments have tried to address this problem in the last four years, distracted driving and its dangers persist and may be growing.
South Carolina and Montana are the only states that have not imposed any limits on using a cellphone or texting while driving. In the absence of any statewide ban, seven municipalities in South Carolina have taken the lead by prohibiting texting while driving.
Holiday weekends can be fatal for motorists. In South Carolina, the 2013 Memorial Day weekend was the deadliest that the state has suffered in three years.