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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > South Carolina Leads the Nation in Traffic Fatalities, Largely Because of Rural Crashes

South Carolina Leads the Nation in Traffic Fatalities, Largely Because of Rural Crashes


Everything changed in 2020, including people’s driving behavior.  At the beginning of the pandemic, many people took the attitude that, if they could just completely avoid leaving the house until they had decluttered every room, exhausted their considerable stash of bath tissue, and perfected their banana bread recipe, then everything would go back to normal.  During this time, with schools and most workplaces closed, people drove so little that carbon emissions dropped noticeably.  As it became clear that COVID-19 would be with us at least for the rest of 2020, people looked to forms of recreation that would not bring them into close contact with large numbers of people.  As long as the only people in your car with you are members of your own household, then drive-by birthday celebrations and long drives in the country are among the safest ways to have fun.  Meanwhile, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  One thing that did not change, despite all the twists and turns brought by 2020, South Carolina’s ranking among states for rate of traffic fatalities was not one of them.  Disastrous car accidents remain much more common in South Carolina than in many other states.  If you were seriously injured in a car accident and are suffering financially because of it, contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer.

2020 Traffic Fatality Statistics: South Carolina Still Leads, Despite Decrease in Fatal Crashes

In the first nine months of 2020, 678 people died in car accidents in South Carolina, down from more than 700 in the first nine months of 2019.  This means that South Carolina had the highest per capita rate of traffic fatalities out of all 50 states.  South Carolina has ranked in the top five states for fatal traffic accident rate every year since 2005, and in 2019, it was number one.

60 percent of fatal accidents in South Carolina take place on rural roads; to rectify this problem, the South Carolina Department of Transportation has made efforts to make rural roads safer.  Several factors account for the disproportionate number of serious accidents on rural roads.  First, traffic fatalities in rural areas are more likely to be single-vehicle crashes, where a car falls into a ditch or collides with trees.  The lack of streetlights increased the risk of these crashes.  Likewise, since there are no traffic lights and fewer cars on the road, drivers might feel emboldened to drive at high speeds, or else they might not notice how fast they are going.  Both in urban areas and rural ones, alcohol is a factor in about a third of fatality accidents.  South Carolina ranks third, behind Montana and Wyoming, for per capita rate of fatal drunk driving accidents.

Let Us Help You Today

Even as South Carolina’s roads become safer, your Columbia car accident lawyers are here to help you recover from a physically and financially devastating car accident.  Contact The Stanley Law Group for help with your case.




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