South Carolina Highway and Interstate Car Crashes
Hundreds of vehicle accidents occur every day in South Carolina. While some may only result in minor property damage, others can cause serious injuries or even death. Learn more about common causes behind highway and interstate accidents, from distracted driving to reckless behavior. To better navigate the challenging legal process after a collision, consult with the skilled South Carolina accident attorneys at Pracht Injury Lawyers.
Contributing Causes of Highway Car Accidents
Even if you’re fully safe and attentive while driving, you cannot control the behavior of other motorists on the road. Comparative negligence in South Carolina assigns fault based on a percentage. If the other party is more than 50 percent negligent, you may be able to seek compensation for damages proportional to this percentage.
The South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book prepared by the Department of Public Safety indicates that fatal collisions are investigated by the Highway Patrol much more often than by the sheriff’s department or city or county police. Based on vehicle miles traveled, some of the most common areas of fatal car accidents are Greenville, Charleston, and Horry. Most interstate accidents occur on the I-26, I-85, I-20, and I-95.
Car accidents happen for various reasons. Some of the most common factors behind unwanted highway accidents are discussed below.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Many car accidents on South Carolina highways are due to drunk driving. Even if someone’s blood alcohol content is below the legal limit, their ability to operate a motor vehicle is still impaired. For instance, they may have slower reaction times to possible hazards. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly dangerous.
However, it’s important to note that a drunk driver isn’t automatically liable for damages if they’re involved in a car crash. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove their intoxication was one of the main causes of the accident.
Distracted Driving on South Carolina Highways
Traffic accidents in South Carolina have soared in recent years. Part of this rising trend may be attributed to driving while distracted. An alarming number of people try to use their phones while behind the wheel. Texting and similar activities take away a motorist’s attention from the road. Other distractions, such as changing a song or eating a meal, can be equally distracting.
Especially when traveling at highway speeds, people have even less time to react to other cars and hazards. Drivers need to devote their full attention to the task of driving and be fully aware of their surroundings.
Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness
Some motorists traveling on the highway or interstate may be on a long journey traveling over a great distance. Or, they may be on their way home after a long day at work. In either case, tired drivers suffer from many of the same symptoms as drunk drivers. They may experience lapses in attention or even fall asleep completely behind the wheel. A drowsy person doesn’t react as quickly to changing conditions and may have poorer control of their vehicle, too.
Lack of Driving Experience
New drivers are a major cause of highway accidents in South Carolina. Young motorists, particularly teenagers, are understandably much less experienced behind the wheel than their older counterparts. They either lack essential driving skills or their abilities are underdeveloped. They might also not know how to react to certain situations.
Similarly, while out-of-state drivers may be well experienced, they may be unfamiliar with a particular area, road, or interstate. If they’re distracted trying to read road signs or to get their bearings, they may cause an accident due to their inattention to other motorists. Myrtle Beach and Charleston are especially popular among South Carolina visitors, and the additional traffic makes roadways in these areas more hazardous.
Dangerous or Reckless Driving Behavior
With dashcam footage and other evidence, it can sometimes be easier to prove fault in a car accident based on the other driver’s behavior. Some common examples of dangerous maneuvers and reckless driving include:
- Sudden lane changes
- Not performing an over-the-shoulder check
- Excessive lane changing or swerving
- Unsafe or improper passing
- Driving too slowly for the conditions
- Not obeying traffic signals and signs
An especially noteworthy example of dangerous driving is excessive speeding. Motorists risk losing control of their vehicle or being unable to react to the unexpected quickly enough to avoid a collision.
Adverse or Difficult Weather Conditions
Sometimes, drivers with the best intentions still cause crashes on South Carolina highways and interstates, and weather can be a major factor. It’s often difficult to see through thick fog or severe rainstorms. Slippery road conditions, water-covered roadways, and other weather-related hazards cause difficulties as well. High winds can even blow debris and hazards onto the road. In some cases, impatient drivers may travel too quickly for these conditions and cause an unwanted collision.
Faulty or Poorly Maintained Vehicles
It’s crucially important to keep your car or truck up to date with repairs and maintenance. A poorly maintained vehicle poses significant risks. For instance:
- Bald tires can lose traction or even blow out.
- Burnt-out headlights make your vehicle much harder to see.
- Inadequate brake maintenance compromises the ability to stop safely.
- Loose or improperly secured cargo could hit other vehicles.
Every motorist has a responsibility to ensure their safety and that of others.
What to Do If You’re Hurt in a SC Highway Crash
First, focus on your health. Call 911 and seek emergency medical attention right away. After collecting evidence and photos at the scene, call the team at Pracht Injury Lawyers. We’ll explain the basics of South Carolina personal injury cases and how they apply to you.
It’s critically important to protect your legal rights following an automobile accident that wasn’t your fault. Insurance companies might try to put more blame on your actions or offer the lowest settlement amount they think you’ll accept just to make the case go away. With our experienced professionals in your corner, we’ll help you seek the justice and fair compensation you deserve.