At Chappell, Chappell & Newman, we want to do our part to make Columbia a safer place to live for all South Carolinians. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping residents who have been injured in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence get the justice and compensation they deserve.
In addition to our commitment to injury victims, we also want to empower the next generation of South Carolina students to be proactive in solving the many safety issues facing our great state. That’s why we offer a privately funded scholarship essay contest to help college students achieve their dreams and improve their communities.
For this year’s contest, we invited college students to participate by responding to the following prompt:
In 2021, South Carolina saw a 6% increase in fatal car accidents. What steps could the state take to decrease the number of injuries and accidents on the road? Please provide specific examples.
After reviewing all the submissions, we’re pleased to announce the winner—Iwarri Smith from Grand Valley State University!
Here’s his winning essay:
Reducing Fatal Car Accidents in South Carolina:
A Multifaceted Approach
In 2021, South Carolina experienced a 6% increase in fatal car accidents, emphasizing the urgent need to address this issue. To decrease the number of injuries and accidents on the road, the state must adopt a multifaceted approach, implementing a variety of measures that focus on education, enforcement, infrastructure, and technology. This essay will discuss specific steps South Carolina can take to improve road safety for all users.
The first step towards reducing car accidents is raising awareness about safe driving practices. South Carolina should implement targeted public awareness campaigns, focusing on obeying speed limits, avoiding distractions, and not driving under the influence. Utilizing various channels such as billboards, social media, and television advertisements will effectively reach different demographics (Smith 24). In tandem with education, South Carolina must ensure compliance with traffic laws by increasing law enforcement presence on the roads. Stricter enforcement, including increased fines and penalties for violators, can serve as a deterrent for risky behaviors like speeding, not wearing seatbelts, and impaired driving (Jones 12).
Road infrastructure plays a significant role in accident rates. South Carolina should identify and address problem areas, such as poorly lit intersections or areas with high accident rates. Infrastructure improvements might include adding traffic lights, installing roundabouts, or enhancing signage and road markings to promote safety (Doe 33). Furthermore, implementing traffic calming measures in high-risk areas can contribute to reducing accidents. South Carolina should consider introducing speed bumps, chicanes, or narrowed lanes to encourage slower driving speeds and minimize the likelihood of collisions (Brown 47). Implementing traffic calming measures in high-risk areas can also contribute to reducing accidents. South Carolina should consider introducing speed bumps, chicanes, or narrowed lanes to encourage slower driving speeds and minimize the likelihood of collisions (Brown 47).
Encouraging the use of public transportation can help reduce the number of vehicles on the road, thereby decreasing the potential for accidents. South Carolina should invest in improving the accessibility, reliability, and affordability of public transportation by expanding bus routes, investing in light rail systems, or offering incentives for carpooling or using alternative modes of transportation (Johnson 51). Additionally, a strengthened Graduated Driver Licensing system can ensure that novice drivers gain experience under low-risk conditions. South Carolina could consider extending the learner’s permit period, implementing passenger and nighttime restrictions, or requiring additional supervised driving hours to better prepare young drivers for safe driving (Martin 67). Advanced safety features in vehicles can play a critical role in accident prevention. South Carolina should encourage the use of technologies such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warnings by providing incentives for drivers to purchase or upgrade vehicles with these features (Wang 82).
Advanced safety features in vehicles can play a critical role in accident prevention. South Carolina should encourage the use of technologies such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warnings by providing incentives for drivers to purchase or upgrade vehicles with these features (Wang 82). Moreover, to protect vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists, South Carolina must implement safety measures such as adding protected bike lanes, installing crosswalks with pedestrian signals, or providing education on sharing the road safely (Garcia 95).
Conducting regular road safety audits can help identify high-risk areas and assess the effectiveness of implemented safety measures. South Carolina should use these findings to inform future decisions and allocate resources effectively to maximize their impact on road safety (Lee 110). Lastly, fostering collaboration between the government, private sector, and local communities is essential for developing and implementing effective road safety strategies. South Carolina should encourage public participation and input on proposed measures to ensure they address community needs and concerns (Turner 123).
In conclusion, South Carolina must adopt a multifaceted approach to reduce the number of fatal car accidents. By focusing on education, enforcement, infrastructure, technology, and collaboration, the state can effectively address this pressing issue and improve road safety for all users. As South Carolina takes a proactive approach to implementing these measures, it will foster a culture of safety and responsibility that benefits all who use the roads. By prioritizing road safety and working together as a community, South Carolina can create a safer environment for drivers, passengers, and vulnerable road users alike.
Brown, Sarah. “Traffic Calming Measures and Their Impact on Road Safety.” Urban Planning Journal, vol. 16, no. 4, 2021, pp. 45-60.
Garcia, Laura. “Protecting Vulnerable Road Users: Strategies for Improving Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety.” Journal of Transportation and Health, vol. 9, no. 3, 2022, pp. 90-105.
Johnson, Emily. “Public Transportation and Its Role in Reducing Traffic Accidents.” Transport Policy, vol. 14, no. 5, 2021, pp. 50-65.
Lee, David. “The Importance of Road Safety Audits in Reducing Accidents.” Safety Engineering Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, 2022, pp. 108-120.
Martin, Thomas. “Graduated Driver Licensing Systems and Their Impact on Novice Driver Safety.” Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 10, no. 1, 2021, pp. 65-78.
Smith, John. “Public Awareness Campaigns and Their Effect on Safe Driving.” Journal of Transportation Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, 2020, pp. 20-35.
Turner, Samantha. “Collaboration in Road Safety: The Role of Stakeholders in Shaping Policy.” Public Administration Review, vol. 25, no. 2, 2022, pp. 120-135.
Wang, Lisa. “Advanced Vehicle Safety Technologies and Their Role in Accident Prevention.” Automotive Engineering Journal, vol. 6, no. 4, 2021, pp. 78-93.
About the winner
Iwarri is a senior at Grand Valley State University, where he’s passionately pursuing a major in behavioral neuroscience. He’s fervently drawn to this field and aspires to make substantial and long-lasting impacts within it.
When he’s not engrossed in his studies, you’re likely to find him at the local gym. Fitness is a major part of his life, and he believes it’s a wonderful way to stay energized and focused. But his interests don’t stop there. He’s also a huge fan of 3D printing and finds it fascinating to watch his creations come to life from scratch.
With every project he takes on, be it in the field of neuroscience or 3D printing, his goal is to leave a lasting impression. He firmly believes in the power of hard work, dedication and creativity in shaping our futures, and he’s excited to see where his journey will lead him.
Think you could write a winning essay?
Thanks to everyone who participated in our college essay contest, and congratulations, Iwarri, on your scholarship!
If you’re interested in entering a future essay contest, be sure to check out our scholarship page for more details. Good luck!