While some transplants from northern states may not have had difficulty travelling in the rare snow storm that struck much of South Carolina this week, most drivers were caught off guard by just how dangerous the roadways would be. A lot of drivers quickly discovered that their driving habits on dry pavement were not as effective on icy roadways, which resulted in a tremendous number of incidences across the state, including some here in Spartanburg.
So far, hundreds of accidents have been reported to emergency crews throughout the state. And with roads expected to still be icy throughout the rest of today and perhaps even into tomorrow, it’s hard to tell just how many more auto accidents we could see. At this time, the South Carolina Highway Patrol has responded to more than 1,400 weather-related calls, 817 of which were motor vehicle collisions due to slippery roads. If that number seems alarming, compare it to last year where only 89 accidents were reported over the same period of time.
It’s important to note that while many of the accidents that have been reported were minor fender-benders that did not result in injuries, other drivers in places like Horry County have not been as lucky. Some rear- and head-on collisions and even a few rollover crashes have led to serious injuries. The SCHP says at least three accidents in Horry County have involved injuries at this time. But this number of reported injuries could increase in the days and weeks to come, especially considering the fact that whiplash may not demonstrate symptoms until the next day, leaving an accident victim in pain and wondering if they can still file a claim.
Although police across the state are urging residents to stay home, they know that people may need to travel. Those who do need to travel are urged to take it extra slow and to be more vigilant than usual. Failing to reduce your speed and increase your stopping distance could be considered negligent driving and might be considered if a personal injury claim is made.
Source: WMBF News, “Accidents increasing as motorists drive on treacherous roadways,” Jan. 29, 2014