Every state at one time or another seems to lament (or brag) that it has the worst drivers in the U.S. Trust me, South Carolina drivers, and Greenwood drivers in particular, scare me worse than driving in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and other places I have driven. I admit, I have not been to California.
According to the “Smart Assets 2017 Auto Accident Study,” South Carolina is tied for 11th worst with Kentucky. This is based on percentage of accidents per population. Georgia came in 18th and North Carolina 20th. Mississippi was first.
Index-Journal reporter Damian Dominguez wrote about the concern among law enforcement about the rise in fatal accidents this year and law enforcement’s plans to crack down.
Consider these statistics from the “2017 South Carolina Collision Fact Book” from the Department of Transportation:
• There is a traffic collision in South Carolina every 3.7 minutes.
• One person killed every 8.9 hours.
• One person killed because of a DUI every 28 hours.
Contributing factors listed include everything from disregarding a signal or sign to distracted driving to aggressive operation of a vehicle.
I have compiled my list of top driver peeves and added some satire to make a point.
1. Tailgaters – This is the guy that rides your bumper and refuses to back off no matter how many times you pump the brakes. God forbid, I have to stop suddenly or turn off.
2. Over the Line Joe – This is the driver that is a car length past the white stripe at the red light. You can’t see around him if you are in the next lane. Making a left hand turn means navigating around him or taking his front bumper off to turn.
3. Frogger – Do you remember the 1981 arcade game Frogger? The object was to get the frogs back home across roads and other obstacles. The Frogger driver is constantly changing lanes, usually at excessive speeds. I find it curious that after all his crazy antics he is usually next to me at the red light or at best has gained one position in line.
4. Pull Out and Turn Guy – You know this driver. He pulls out in front of you at the last minute, then slams on his brakes and turns at the next street or business.
5. What turn signal? — Yep, you guessed it. This driver never heard of a turn signal. He stops quickly with no warning and turns, with you coming close to rear-ending him.
6. Phone obsession – This is the one who texts or is more conscious of his phone than he is his driving. You are afraid to pass since he is weaving all over the road. Then there is the phone-obsessed person who is so engrossed with their phone they don’t realize the light changed.
7. Left Lane Louie – This driver insists on driving way below the posted speed limit while in the left lane and refuses to move over. I read the state House is considering a bill to fine drivers for this unsafe practice.
8. Mr. High Beams – Aren’t those new headlines bright? It is even worse when the driver likes to drive with them on high beam. I hate driving at night. Throw in some rain or fog and it gets really interesting.
Mopeds are a whole different conversation; but suffice it to say, any motorized mode of transportation that is by law restricted to only go 30 mph is an accident waiting to happen. Raise the size engine from 49cc to 150cc – enough to go 50 mph and not clog up traffic.
As Sgt. Getraer told his officers on “ChiPs,” “Let’s be careful out there.”