When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States last year, the roads emptied almost overnight. As stay-at-home orders kept families and workers home, traffic congestion reached record lows. While you might think that meant fewer accident-related deaths, new data shows there was actually a surge in traffic fatalities nationwide last year.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recently released their 18th Annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, which showed a spike in dangerous driving behaviors, including:

Accompanying these increases was a decline in seat belt use by nearly 50 percent. All of these factors contributed to an overall higher fatality rate in the first half of 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

These disturbing trends make it more important than ever for South Carolina drivers to follow the rules of the road. Below, Wilson Law Group, LLC offers some tips for safe driving.

Make 2021 the Year for Safe Driving

Drive Safely 2021On average, approximately 100 people are killed and over 7,500 more are injured on American roads every day. While some crashes are inevitable, most are preventable. The only behavior we can control on the road is our own.

Here are tips for driving safely:

  • Wear your seat belt. Buckling up reduces your chances of fatal injury in a car accident by as much as 45 percent, according to NHTSA.
  • Ease up on the gas pedal. By far, speeding accounts for the most fatal and injury crashes in South Carolina. According to the most current state data, driving too fast was responsible for more than 41,700 crashes in a recent year. Of those crashes, 228 people died and 16,287 were injured.
  • Eliminate distractions. Texting while driving is illegal in S.C., but there are numerous other distractions to be wary of. Talking on the phone, reaching for objects, eating, drinking, adjusting the stereo, and daydreaming can all cause distracted driving accidents.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Remember, you can still show signs of impaired driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of below the legal limit of 0.08. Make sure to have a designated driver if you plan to be drinking or arrange for a taxi or rideshare to take you home.
  • Maintain your vehicle. Get your oil changed, tires rotated, and routine maintenance inspections done regularly. Make sure your mirrors and windshields are cleared from grime and other debris that can block your visibility. Check your fluid levels and wiper blades to ensure your car is in top shape before leaving home.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. More than 40 percent of motorists admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once. Make sure to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re on a long trip, stop every 100 miles for a break (or sooner if you start to feel sleepy).

Hurt in an Auto Accident in S.C.? Get Help from Wilson Law Group Today

Dangerous driving takes far too many innocent lives each day. If you were hurt by a reckless driver in South Carolina, you need a skilled car accident lawyer to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Look no further than Wilson Law Group, LLC. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.