When a person is involved in a car wreck, it can be a terrible experience, often causing serious injury, and in some cases, death. The road conditions in South Carolina continue to worsen, resulting in very high numbers of traffic fatalities and injuries. A 2014 Department of Public Safety Report revealed that there is one traffic collision every 4.4 minutes, one person is killed every 10.6 hours, one person is injured every 9.9 minutes, and sadly, one teen driver is involved in a fatal or injury resulting collision every 1.5 hours. The statistics continue to worsen, one pedestrian is killed every 3.3 days, and one motorcyclist is killed every 4.1 days.
These numbers continue to rise. In 2014 there were 823 traffic fatalities in South Carolina, a 7.3% increase from 2013. Id. There were 53.029 reported traffic injuries in 2014, representing a 4.1% increase from the previous year. Id. South Carolina’s rural fatality rate is a staggering 61% higher than the national average.
Based upon the numbers above, it is clear that things need to be done in order to reduce fatalities and injuries on our state’s roads. The decaying condition which our roads are in presents us with a serious problem. A study conducted by TRIP (The Road Information Program) released in 2015, revealed some awful statistics. The study found that 46% of South Carolina major roads and highways are in poor condition, significantly higher than in 2008, when 32% of the same roads were rated in poor condition. It is estimated that these road conditions cost South Carolina drivers around 3 billion dollars each year, resulting on an average cost of over $1000 per driver. A further study by TRIP, released about a month ago, shows the condition of our State’s roads, as the Interstate Highway system turns 60 years old. South Carolina ranks #6 on the Interstate Fatality Rate. The congestion and the condition of our roads contribute to the car wrecks, and the injuries and fatalities which result from these.
The true victims of all the troubling facts regarding our roads are the victims and their families. The range of injuries resulting from an auto accident can be mild to severe. Some victims experience sore muscles, whiplash, neck and back pain, and similar injuries. In the more severe instances, victims are often left paralyzed, and in the worst case, someone loses their life. If we as a State take the initiative to fix our roads, then we can lessen the amount of injuries and deaths that occur. We owe this duty to ourselves as a society.