According to QuoteWizard.com, SC’s bad driving statistics are largely driven by drunk drivers, and they affect the cost of automobile insurance in our state. What problems do SC drivers face that are giving us such bad press, and how does it affect the cost of insurance in SC?
Why Does SC Have the Worst Drivers?
The study ranks all fifty states from worst to best, with Maine coming in at the number one state for the worst drivers, SC second place, and Michigan with the best drivers in the nation:
- South Carolina
- North Dakota
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
QuoteWizard says that they calculated the average number of incidents for each state involving accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, citations, and fatalities, and suggests that the main reason SC is at the top of the list of worst drivers is because… SC drivers like to drink and drive.
According to the SC Department of Public Safety, “nearly half of all fatal crashes in South Carolina involve an impaired driver.” Last year, QuoteWizard’s results put SC in fourth place for the country’s worst drivers, and they say the bump to second place is the result of an increase in DUIs across the state:
South Carolinians love the simple things in life, like cracking a cold one at the beach. The problem? It seems they’re too quick to get behind the wheel after having a few too many. Nearly half of all fatal crashes in SC result from drunk driving. Drivers can blame an increase in DUIs for the jump from last year’s rank as the fourth worst drivers to the second worst drivers this year.
Drunk driving is not the only problem that SC drivers are facing. What are the most common causes of car wrecks and traffic deaths in SC?
Drunk Driving Accidents in SC
There are two ways that the law in SC works to prevent drunk driving accidents – 1) criminal laws for driving under the influence, and 2) civil, or tort, law that allows a drunk driving accident victim to recover damages including punitive damages from the drunk driver.
In most cases, the drunk driver’s insurance company is the one paying the bill – which is why insurance companies put a lot of emphasis on drunk driving statistics when they are setting their premiums for a particular geographic area…
Texting and Driving in SC
Texting while driving is another leading cause of accidents in SC and across the US:
Almost 3,500 people were killed in distracted-driving auto accidents in 2015;
18 percent of teen auto accident fatalities were the result of distracted driving in 2009;
26 percent of auto accidents in 2014 were at least partly caused by cell phone use;
Distracted driving kills at least nine people and injures more than 1,000 every day; and
Texting while driving is the leading cause of death among teenage drivers in the U.S.
I suspect that the use of cell phones and other electronic devices is more widespread than the statistics show – how many car crashes were caused by distracted driving that was never discovered?
SC passed a distracted driving law in 2014 that prohibits texting while driving. A new distracted driving law called the “DUI-E Bill” is being considered by the legislature this year that, if passed, would prohibit additional conduct like making phone calls, emails, just holding your phone, or even reaching for your phone “in an unsafe manner.”
Speeding Tickets in SC
Obviously, speeding can contribute to car crashes, and QuoteWizard included speeding tickets and other citations as part of their criteria in determining that SC has some of the worst drivers in the country.
Are My Insurance Premiums Higher Because SC has the Worst Drivers?
According to QuoteWizard, yes.
Insurance companies determine your rates by your zip code. Even though you may be the best driver in the world, your odds of getting into an accident are increased by the bad drivers around you:
Your rates depend in part on how well the people around you can drive. Why? Because the more bad drivers there are on the road, the higher the chance of a collision. Even if you’re a fantastic driver, living in a state full of speed demons or reckless traffic weavers can cause your rates to skyrocket. Car insurance companies look at your zip code to determine your prices. And if your zip code has a propensity for poor driving, you’ll pay more for coverage.
How can we lower our insurance rates? Don’t speed, don’t drink and drive, don’t commit any other traffic violations, don’t have any accidents… but we can’t control the other drivers on the road.
SC Car Wreck Attorneys in Myrtle Beach
The Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyers at Coastal Law will help you to recover maximum compensation for your auto accident whenever possible.
If you have been hurt in a car crash, call now at (843) 488-5000 or contact us through our site to set up a free consultation and case review with a SC personal injury attorney today.