South Carolina ranks ninth among states where people are most likely to die in a motor vehicle accident, with a fatality rate of 16.5 per 100,000 people. However, overall deaths from car accidents are down by one-third over the past three years and have shown a steady decline since the mid 1980s. Experts say this is due to better structural design, better safety features and the use of seat belts.
However, car accidents still cause a significant number of deaths each year. A person has a one in 77 chance of dying in a car accident, and as a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it among the highest-probability causes of death. It is tied with firearm deaths and is slightly more than the incidence of deaths by falls. People are more likely to die due to suicide and accidents in general than motor vehicle crashes, but they are less likely to die from homicide, skin cancer or drowning.
In 2013, the CDC counted nearly 34,000 deaths from automobile accidents. Among those deaths, it was unclear whether 15,388 were drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. However, among the remaining deaths, bicyclists had the lowest death rate with only 623 followed by motorcyclists at 4,169. Pedestrians accounted for nearly 5,000 deaths while another 8,629 were in one of the vehicles.
These numbers give a sense of how high the toll from automobile accidents can be and do not even factor in non-fatal injuries. People may sustain serious and even life-changing injuries in a car accident, and if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, an injured victim may want the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking compensation from the at-fault party.