In March 2017, The Post and Courier published its list of the “worst 10 intersections” in South Carolina. It based the list on traffic crash data from the S.C. Department of Public Safety from 2011 to 2015. According to the newspaper, the intersections with the most crashes during that period were:
Intersection (Area) Crashes
- I-20 and U.S. 176 (Columbia) — 669
- I-26 and Ashley Phosphate Road (North Charleston) — 629
- I-85 and Pelham Road (Greenville) — 494
- I-385 and Woodruff Road (Greenville) — 460
- U.S. 17 and S.C. 544 (Myrtle Beach) — 454
- I-85 and Woodruff Road (Greenville) — 425
- I-85 and East Main Street (Spartanburg) — 417
- I-26 and St. Andrews Road (Columbia) — 395
- I-26 and College Park Road (Charleston) — 381
- U.S. 17 and Glenn’s Bay/Holmestown Road (Myrtle Beach) — 367
Over the years, several other media outlets in South Carolina have come out with similar lists of the “most dangerous intersections” in their specific area of the state. Here is a sampling:
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Rock Hill
In August 2015, The Rock Hill Herald identified the most dangerous intersections in York County, basing its list on 2014 traffic crash data as well as input from local police officials and traffic planners. The top five intersections on the list were:
- Celanese Road and India Hook Road (Rock Hill)
- C. 160 and I-77 (Fort Mill)
- Cherry Road and Mt. Gallant Road (Rock Hill)
- Celanese Road and Riverchase Boulevard (Rock Hill)
- Springfield Parkway and A.O. Jones Boulevard (Fort Mill)
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Columbia and Richland County
In May 2017, The State compiled a list of intersections in Columbia and Richland County with the highest number of crashes that were investigated by the Columbia Police Department and S.C. Highway Patrol in 2016. The top five intersections on the list were:
- Assembly Street and Elmwood Avenue
- I-20 and I-26 interchange
- I-26 and Broad River Road
- I-77 and Killian Road
- Sparkleberry Lane and Two Notch Road
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Spartanburg
In November 2015, Channel 7 News (WSPA) looked at crash stats and traffic count numbers from the previous five-year period and published and compiled the “most dangerous intersections in the Upstate.” The intersections which topped the TV station’s list were:
- South Main Street and West Shockley Ferry Road (Anderson)
- White Hall Road and Pearman Dairy Road (Anderson)
- S. 25 and U.S. 221 (Greenwood)
- C. 72 and S.C. 56 (Clinton)
- Pearman Dairy Road and West Whitner Street (Anderson)
What Are the Main Causes of South Carolina Intersection Crashes?
While poor road design and traffic planning can contribute to intersection crashes in South Carolina, the bottom line is that human error, or negligence, serves as the cause of the overwhelming majority of these accidents. In fact, a study that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published in 2010 found that “driver-attributed critical reasons” were behind 96 percent of intersection accidents in our country. The most common driver errors which the researchers identified were:
- Inadequate surveillance
- False assumption of other’s action
- Turned with obstructed view
- Illegal maneuver
- Internal distraction
- Misjudgment of gap or other’s speed.
According to the study, drivers taking certain actions at an intersection tend to be more prone to making certain mistakes. For instance, drivers who cross over at intersections commonly cause crashes due to inattention or illegal maneuvers such as failing to use a turn signal, while misjudgment of gap or speed often leads to collisions when drivers make left turns at intersections.
How You Can Avoid Intersection Accidents in South Carolina
Whenever you get behind the wheel of your car, you run the risk of getting into an accident. You can’t control what other drivers do or keep them from making the kind of careless and reckless decisions that cause wrecks. With that said, you will at least reduce your risk of getting into a crash at an intersection if you follow some basic safety tips:
- Put down your phone and pay attention. When you approach an intersection, traffic slows down and becomes congested. You need to be alert and aware of your surroundings. Don’t be a distracted driver. Instead, stay off your phone, leave the radio alone and don’t turn around to talk with a passenger, deal with a child or handle a pet.
- Check your speed – and your aggressiveness. Many drivers try to “beat” a red light by speeding up and racing through an intersection. Nothing could be more dangerous. When you come to an intersection, you should reduce your speed and make sure to scan your surroundings for crossing cars, bikes or pedestrians. Additionally, you should never try to pass a car when you go through an intersection.
- Maintain your vehicle. As a driver, you have an obligation to put a safe car on the road. You should routinely check your fluids, make sure that your brakes are in good condition and replace worn out windshield wipers and burnt out lights (you want to be able to see others, and you need to ensure that they can see you).
- Know the rules of the road. Do you know who has the right of way when you come to a four-way intersection? Do you know when you need to yield to other cars or pedestrians? Check out the South Carolina Driver’s Manual and brush up on your knowledge of the rules of the road.
- Plan ahead. You don’t want to jump in your car and race off to your destination. Instead, you should plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are headed. For instance, you should use a feature such as Google Maps, which provides estimates of how long a trip will take and identifies roads and intersections where you may run into construction, accidents or traffic backups.
Hurt in an Intersection Crash? Our South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Can Help.
If a negligent driver caused an intersection crash that left you injured or caused the tragic loss of a loved one, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. Contact Stewart Law Offices, LLC, today to learn more in a free consultation. With offices in Columbia, Spartanburg, Beaufort, Rock Hill and Charlotte, we can meet with you right away. As you will see, we have the knowledge and experience it takes to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.