South Carolina Rated As The Most Dangerous State To Drive – What to Do After a Car Accident
South Carolina: Most Dangerous State to Drive
A recent study to document the need for improving the nation’s country roads and bridges revealed South Carolina being the most dangerous state for drivers of rural roads. To Charleston car accident lawyers this comes as no surprise. South Carolina had 4.7 fatalities per 100 million miles driven in 2009. That was considerably ahead of the 3.47 deaths for the second-ranking state, Florida. North Carolina ranked 11th nationally, with 2.74 deaths per 100 million miles.
The report was prepared by TRIP, a 40-year-old nonprofit organization which lobbies for road safety and improvements, showed South Carolina motorists are more likely to die on rural roads than on city thoroughfares. In its study, TRIP report concluded:
SC rural roads are likely to have more narrow lanes and that 34 percent of fatal crashes involved a vehicle going off the road.
Researchers for the organization said 15 percent of fatal crashes involved a head-on collision, compared to 8 percent for other roads.
Those conducting the study placed blame primarily on the drivers, then suggested improvements for rural roads. South Carolina auto accident attorneys argue more stringent traffic enforcement would be more likely to change driver behavior, if that is indeed the most likely reason for the car accidents.
What to After a Car Accident
The rule of thumb for car accidents is never leave the scene. If you leave the scene of an accident, especially involving injury or death, you could face serious criminal penalties. There is exception to this rule. There have been incidents where an accident was purposely caused in order to perpetrate a crime. If you feel unsafe at the scene of an accident, proceed to the nearest law enforcement station. If you’re instinct is wrong, you may embarrassed; better safe than sorry.
Make sure that everyone involved in the accident is okay and seek medical attention if needed. If an injured person complains of back or neck pain, do not move them unless there current position leaves them at even greater risk. For example, move the victim if he/she is in danger of fire. Try to move them slowly immobilizing the neck and back if at all possible.
If the accident involves significant property damage, physical injury, or death, call the police. Ask for the officers’ names and badge numbers in addition to an official report of the accident.
Get their names, phone numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information of others involved in the car accident. Do likewise for passengers. Be polite and cooperative in exchanging information, but do not apologize for anything at the scene. You do not want your regret for an unfortunate accident to be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. A car accident scene is neither the time or place to determine fault.
Ask witnesses what they saw. Get their names, telephone numbers or addresses, if possible. Ask them if they have ever witnessed other accidents in the same place. If a witness is hesitant to speak to you, just jot down whatever they tell you and ask their name and phone number. Your attorney, the insurance company, or the court may wish to contact them later.
Notify your insurance carrier that you have been involved in an car accident. Build support for your claim by explaining the facts of the case in a clear manner and using the accident report to show who was at fault.
Make record of your medical expenses. Doctors expenses related to the car accident can be recovered.
Take pictures of any damage to yours or the other party’s vehicle with your cell phone’s cameras at the accident scene if possible. These can be compare to any picture you may have prior to the accident. Negligent parties can legal repair damage to their vehicle making your case more difficult.
Get a repair estimate from your insurance company, as well as independent estimates for comparison. If you feel the insurance company is not offering appropriate financial compensation, contact a Charleston car accident lawyer.
Do not talk to anyone regarding the incident other than your attorney, your insurance company, and the police. If agents from other insurance companies call you, take the callers name and number; Then politely direct them to call your attorney or insurance company to arrange for an interview.
Do not consider any offers until all physical injuries you suffered have been treated, and you have a doctor’s prognosis. Many injuries do not show symptoms until days, weeks or months after the car accident. It is in your best interest to consult a South Carolina auto accident attorney before you sign any settlement to ensure you are properly compensated for the medical treatment, pain and suffering resulting from your injuries.