Those who complain about road safety in South Carolina can take meager comfort in a recent study listing the most unsafe states for motoring. We’re not No. 1, but we are No. 10.
The study was conducted by carinsurancecomparison.com, an online company. Its conclusions were based on driving-fatality statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration; the level of state-by-state ticketing from the American Motorists Association; and drunk driver arrests from MADD.
Here’s the take on the Palmetto State:
“South Carolinians are not careless drivers: according to our data, they’re the third most careful drivers in the Union. But somehow, that doesn’t apply to stop signs or turn signals: they also pulled a miserable 45 for obeying the signs on the road. We’re pretty sure that’s why they pulled an abysmal 48 on the fatality rankings, locking them squarely in number 10.”
Call it another testament to the “like new” turn signals featured on used cars in our state. Of course, the survey doesn’t take into account the wretched condition of some of the state’s roads and bridges — a circumstance not likely to substantially change without additional funding, or long-term adherence to a fix-it-first philosophy.
The other bottom 10 states, from No. 9 down, are Alabama, Montana, Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Missouri and No. 1 Louisiana.
The study made the point that drivers who are distracted by cell phones are “as much of a menace as someone who staggers out of the bar and tries to drive home.” It adds, “That is why many state are making cell phone driving laws.”
But not South Carolina. The Legislature has yet to approve restrictions even on texting — a demonstrably dangerous habit that increases peril exponentially.
Such a ban would promote a downward trend in motoring hazards — and maybe even lower the cost of auto insurance.