Every driver is aware that getting behind the wheel comes with risks. You can make all the right choices to stay safe, but if another motorist behaves in a negligent manner, you may still end up paying the price.
In 2018, 2,642 people suffered serious injuries in South Carolina traffic crashes, according to the most recent Traffic Collision Fact Book. This means severe harm was immediately clear, such as a large open wound, a broken or distorted limb, significant burns, unconsciousness, paralysis, or a suspected skull, chest or abdominal injury.
While this number is unsettling, state figures provide valuable insight into how these crashes occurred.
The most common contributing factors
When an officer initially investigates a traffic collision, he or she makes note of a primary contributing factor. This is essentially the main cause of the crash, according to that officer’s best judgment. In most cases, this contributing factor is the result of driver behavior.
Which driver behaviors led to the highest number of serious injuries in 2018? Here are the top five:
- Driving too fast for conditions – 665 serious injuries (plus 15,622 other injuries)
- Driving under the influence – 442 serious injuries (plus 2,853 other injuries)
- Failure to yield right of way – 405 serious injuries (plus 14,421 other injuries)
- Driving the wrong way or on the wrong side – 171 serious injuries (plus 1,313 other injuries)
- Disregarded signs or signals – 151 serious injuries (plus 4,618 other injuries)
Keep in mind, those factors listed above were not necessarily the lone cause of each crash. However, they were identified as the primary contributing factor.
Holding negligent drivers accountable
A serious injury is almost always life-altering. Broken bones, internal injuries, severe burns and traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting effects. These wounds can diminish a person’s life following a wreck, and often result in costly ongoing medical bills.
When the driver responsible for the crash acted in a negligent manner – such as by speeding, driving drunk or ignoring traffic signals – victims can take action to hold them accountable. Securing rightful financial compensation means victims can focus on healing, rather than worrying about how they will make ends meet.