COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new study says South Carolina is one of the most dangerous states for drivers on New year's Eve and New Year's Day. 

The study, conducted by study by Cannon & Dunphy S.C. and Safer America, analyzed five years of fatal collision data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to find out where the safest and the most dangerous places are for drivers on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Which states had the most fatal crashes? Since raw totals don’t tell the whole story, the calculations are based on the number of licensed drivers in each state. And South Carolina ranks number three in the country.

The five states with the highest crash rates (most dangerous states) were:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Oklahoma
  3. South Carolina
  4. Wyoming
  5. Texas

The five states with the lowest crash rates (safest states) were:

  1. North Dakota
  2. Delaware
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Minnesota
  5. Vermont

What Time of Day is the Most Dangerous on New Year's Eve? 

According to the study, the hours between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. are the most dangerous. These hours were numbers 1 and 2 for total fatal crash and fatal crashes involving a drunk driver. Interestingly, fatal crashes drop significantly during the midnight to 1 a.m. hour, as people everywhere likely stay where they are to count down, according to the study.

So what can you do to protect yourself? 

The study suggests the following actions you can take to keep yourself safe.

  • Don’t drink and drive. If you are planning on consuming alcohol at a New Year’s celebration, designate a driver or get a sober ride home.
  • Don’t drive between the hours of 1 and 3 a.m. unless you absolutely have to. This is the peak time for fatal accidents and fatal alcohol-related accidents on New Year’s.
  • Drive defensively whenever possible. Expect the unexpected and be ready to adjust accordingly.
  • Inspect your vehicle. Before you get on the road, make sure that your tires are properly inflated (and have sufficient tread), fluids are not low and your car’s brakes are functioning properly.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Put the phone down, don’t get too involved in talking to passengers and keep your eyes on the road and arrive alive at your destination.
  • Avoid speeding. Excessive speeding is a major factor in fatal crashes no matter what time of year it is.

See the full study by Cannon & Dunphy S.C. and Safer America here