Bluffton Police Partner with Residents to Address Alarming Rise in Traffic Deaths
More than 42,000 people lose their lives on American roads each year. While the numbers fluctuate, there's currently no sign that this trend is slowing down. In South Carolina, that number is over 1,100 traffic deaths. But on a local level, the numbers are just as staggering.
Fatal car accidents are on the rise
Beaufort County has seen a significant increase in traffic deaths. In response to this growing concern, the Bluffton Police Department seeks to partner with the community to help keep commuters safe. Over the summer, the Bluffton Police Department held a "Community Safety Discussion" to share safety measures with the public.
The car accident attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm discuss how serious the problem is and what you can do if you lose a loved one in a crash.
How many traffic deaths happen in Beaufort County?
At the time of this initiative, 17 people had died in traffic accidents in Beaufort County, five of which were in Bluffton. Additionally, Bluffton averages about 1,400 collisions each year. Most of the town's car accidents are caused by distracted and impaired driving.
At the current rate, 2023 could be the deadliest year on Beaufort County and Bluffton roads. It could rival the peak of traffic fatalities in 2021 when 26 people died in Beaufort County, and nine people died in Bluffton.
What's causing these traffic deaths?
Traffic fatalities in South Carolina and across the U.S. are often linked to driver negligence. The most common causes include:
- Distracted driving: One of the leading causes of traffic fatalities is driver distraction. This includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car technologies while behind the wheel. Distracted driving causes thousands of roadway deaths each year.
- Speeding: Excessive speeding reduces a driver's ability to react to sudden changes on the road. This increases the risk of accidents and fatalities. In fact, speeding results in over 12,000 traffic fatalities every year.
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making it a major cause of fatal accidents. About 37 people die in drunk driving crashes every day in the U.S.
- Reckless driving: Engaging in aggressive behaviors like tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, unsafe passing, or running red lights significantly increases the chances of collisions and fatalities.
- Fatigue: Falling asleep or being excessively drowsy while driving can lead to loss of control. Over 600 fatal crashes happen each year in the U.S. due to drowsy driving.
What can I do if I lost a loved one in a fatal crash?
Losing a loved one in a fatal crash is an incredibly difficult and painful experience. If you find yourself in this situation in South Carolina, you have the right to pursue damages on your loved one's behalf. This can be done through a wrongful death claim, which allows you to recover:
- Economic damages: These damages include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost wages or earning capacity, and loss of inheritance. Plus, it includes the value of services and support provided by the deceased.
- Non-economic damages: These damages are meant to compensate for emotional and intangible losses. They can include loss of companionship, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of guidance or consortium, and the impact on the quality of life.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant's actions were deemed particularly reckless, malicious, or intentional. Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party and serve as a deterrent for similar behavior.
Protect your rights with a South Carolina car accident lawyer
If you were injured or a loved one died in a South Carolina crash involving negligence, the attorneys at Twenge + Twombley can help you demand justice and accountability. We understand what it takes to get results for car accident victims in South Carolina. Let us help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Contact us today
Our legal team serves injured motorists and their families in Beaufort County, Bluffton, Hilton Head, and the surrounding area. Contact us online to set up a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.