A new TRIP report looks at the causes and broader impacts of traffic crashes at the national and state levels. Despite reductions in vehicle travel, fatalities increased. A key contributor to these traffic fatalities is an increase in drivers engaging in risky behaviors.
South Carolina’s rates follow similar trends. The state’s fatalities spiked in 2020 and 2021 despite decreased miles traveled. However, we did see a decline in deaths last year.
It is important to note that South Carolina has seen traffic rebound and ultimately exceed 2019 figures. Vehicle travel has increased by 2.3 billion miles over the last three years to 60.2 billion miles annually.
TRIP estimates that severe and fatal traffic crashes in South Carolina in 2022 caused a total of $32 billion in value of societal harm, which includes $8 billion in economic costs and $24 billion in quality-of-life costs.
Improving safety and reducing fatalities is a team effort between all road users, law enforcement, traffic engineering/design, vehicle manufacturers, and first responders.
With vehicle travel only expected to increase in SC in the coming years, this report is a timely reminder that even with roadway design improvements and advancements in vehicle technologies, there is no replacement for safe driving habits. Safe roads begin with safe drivers.
Click here to view the SC news release, which includes links to the full report.