Report: South Carolina Has Most Fatal Crashes
Recently, Car Insurance Comparison reviewed multiple pieces of data to put together a report titled “Worst Drivers By State.” South Carolina topped the list, sharing the honor with Montana. According to the report, insurance companies could use the information to increase rates, which is bad news for residents everywhere, especially those who may have received a traffic ticket.
Exploring the Report
In order to rank the states, the report pulled information from the following sources:
- 2012 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics (the most current available)
- Fatal crashes that involve alcohol
- Fatal crashes that involved bicyclists or pedestrians
- Fatalities per 100 million miles traveled
South Carolina topped the list in this category in both fatalities per 100 million miles traveled and alcohol involvement. The report notes that alcohol played a factor in almost half – 47 percent – of vehicle fatalities statewide. The Palmetto State ranked fifth when it came to pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities.
Checking for Accuracy
The report has been criticized for not using up-to-date information. According to a spokesperson with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the state has actually seen a 28 percent drop in the number of fatalities since 2007. What’s more, the number of pedestrian fatalities across the state has dropped 15 percent since 2012.
While there may be room for driving improvement, it is important to note that one of the consequences of these numbers could be a change in insurance. Insurance rates factor geography into a rate, specifically when reviewing urban vs. rural drivers. However, the potential for dangerous weather and even the number of lawsuits filed in an area can determine a premium. Therefore, a higher incidence of fatalities or overall driving negligence could mean more suits are filed, which could mean that rates can spike.
A spokesperson with the South Carolina Department of Insurance noted that there are many other factors that will determine how much someone pays for a policy. Chief among those is driving behavior, as someone who has been found responsible for a fatal accident or even a minor traffic infraction could face significant premium increases. An insurance company will also look at what kind of car is on the policy, how many miles are traveled per day and the age of the driver.
South Carolina residents who have been involved in an accident or who have received a ticket may want to consider contacting an attorney. At Nosal & Jeter, we have years of experience representing clients who are facing steep penalties, fines and license suspensions. We understand that reducing or dismissing charges is key to preserving a driver’s freedom and protecting a driver’s record. We can help people through the legal process.
Source: The Island Packet, “SC drivers ranked worst in the nation by insurance website,” Laura Oberle, Dec. 14, 2014