Articles Posted in Auto & Car Accidents

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When Safety Mechanisms Harm, Not HelpA type of guardrail end cap known as the X-Lite is responsible for at least seven deaths: four in Tennessee, two in Missouri, and one in Virginia. Instead of crumpling upon impact, as is supposed to happen, in some cases the cap and guardrail have not absorbed impact. Instead, they have speared the car, killing people inside.

Stephen Eimers became a national spokesperson for getting rid of the X-Lite guardrail systems after his daughter Hannah died in Tennessee, even going so far as to buy a Super Bowl ad in order to publicize the issue. In November, 2016, Hannah’s vehicle crossed a median and hit a guardrail on I-75, skewering the car and killing her instantly.

Eimers says that he has discovered roughly 25 deaths and a number of gruesome amputations that he claims were caused by the X-Lite guardrail system.

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SC Personal Injury Lawyer
A study published in January, 2018, established that lowering the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit from 0.08 to 0.05 across all states would save lives. Another study released back in 2013 by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) pointed out many of the same issues and reasons for change.

As a nation, we have made a lot of progress in reducing drunk driving, especially during the twenty years that started in the early 1980s. This includes limiting the legal BAC to 0.08 percent and increasing the drinking age to 21. But following the early 2000s, progress ground to a halt, and DUI numbers have started to rise again.

Statistical averages indicate that one-third of all traffic deaths are due to at least one of the drivers in the crash operating under the influence of alcohol. Forty percent of the persons who die in collisions are not drunk drivers—they are victims. The deaths that result from alcohol-impaired driving have added up recently to more than 10,000 each year; we would all like to see this number drop to zero.

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intersection-wreckThere can be many reasons why an intersection in the Columbia area is dangerous. The primary one is volume. The more drivers there are at an intersection, the more likely a bad driver will pass through; and with more vehicles filling a space, a collision is simply more likely. You can also add poor design, especially if it encourages high speed or sets up circumstances where drivers trying to go in different directions conflict.

Broad River Road and Interstate 20 had the highest number of accidents in the county last year, with 142 causing 26 injuries, reports The State newspaper. Its reporters reviewed Columbia Police Department and South Carolina Highway Patrol records to come up with the figures. Assembly Street and Elmwood Avenue was the worst intersection in Columbia, with 50 crashes. For those of us living in the area, these numbers shouldn’t be a surprise.

As for the interstate, traffic to the northwest and northeast of Columbia is the busiest and fastest and causes the most problems. After I-20 and Broad River Road, the most dangerous intersections are:

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South Carolina Vehicle Accident LawyerBuying a used car can be nerve-wracking. Unless you are an expert when it comes to assessing automobiles, trying to figure out whether a vehicle is safe, reliable, and a good buy can push some folks into recalculating their finances, shrugging, and driving to the nearest new car dealership instead.

Car dealers know that buying used makes the average person nervous, so they came up with the idea of a “certified pre-owned” car (CPO). The CPO designation, ideally, should mean that a used car has been inspected, repaired if necessary, and sold with full disclosure regarding previous accidents and safety recalls. Continue reading

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jeep-suv-fireWe hope to see continuing news reports on what consumer activist Ralph Nader called “a modern day Pinto for soccer moms.” He was referring, of course, to the notorious Ford Pinto exploding gas tanks.

In October of 2009, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a defect investigation into and recall of all 1993 – 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees, designed with the fuel tank located behind the rear axle. They cited research showing that between 1992 and 2008, there were car accidents that included 172 fatal fire crashes, causing 254 fatalities, in these vehicles.

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Did Santa leave a moped at your house this year? These motor bikes have become increasingly popular forms of transportation for adults as gas prices have soared. Kids love ‘em because, under South Carolina law, they can enjoy the freedom of the road at only 14 years of age. And DUI offenders are grateful to be able to operate a vehicle which doesn’t require a driver’s license, insurance or payment of property taxes or fees.

Some or all of this could change in South Carolina if legislators are successful in amending moped laws this year. The first regular session of the 121st South Carolina General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Over the last two weeks, hundreds of bills have been pre-filed in the House and Senate, several of which seek to strengthen the regulation of mopeds.

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Hours-of-service rules for truck drivers in the U.S. went virtually unchanged for more than 60 years, until they were revised in 2013. But two of those provisions were short-lived, thanks to lobbying by the trucking industry and the business community. An amendment tacked on to the FY 2015 omnibus appropriations bill, signed into law on December 16, suspends at least until October 1 changes made in 2013 that limit use of the “34-hour restart” to once in a seven-day period and require that it include two off-duty periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. The restart rules have now been rolled back to the pre-2013 status.

FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said in 2013, “With robust input from all areas of the trucking community, coupled with the latest scientific research, we carefully crafted a rule acknowledging that when truckers are rested, alert and focused on safety, it makes our roadways safer.”

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When Martha Stewart says, “It’s a good thing,” she certainly can’t be talking about South Carolina’s No. 1 ranking in the latest report from Car Insurance Comparison.

The scoreboard, released earlier this month, shows South Carolina tied with Montana in the contest for which state has the worst drivers, based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“If you’re living in one of these states, you might want to be extra careful when you’re out on the road,” they said. That’s exactly what Louthian Law has been urging since 1959 when we began helping people injured in South Carolina car and truck accidents and pedestrians and bicyclists harmed by careless drivers.

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buzzed-driving“What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening, what’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening . . . .” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 70’s rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar posed the question. And I have the answer:

“The buzz” is achieved by drinking alcohol to a BAC level of 0.01 to 0.07 percent, less than the 0.08 BAC of drunk driving. And “what’s a-happening” is that lots of folks are going to be doing it between now and New Year’s Day and getting behind the wheel. They’re going to think – mistakenly – that because they are only buzzed, rather than drunk, they’re unlikely to cause an accident.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, however, have found that even “minimally buzzed” drivers are more often to blame for fatal car crashes than sober drivers. After analyzing statistics from the nationwide Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), they concluded: “There appears to be no safe combination of drinking and driving . . . .” There is no sudden transition from sober (blameless) to drunk (dangerous). Rather, the progression is even and linear from a BAC of 0.01 to BAC 0.24. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause a fatal crash.

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On Sunday, November 16, the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston hosted an observance of A Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic accidents. In 2012, 863 people lost their lives on South Carolina highways, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: 38% were occupants of passenger cars; 27% were in pickup trucks or SUVs; 1% were in large trucks; 13% were motorcyclists; 14% were pedestrians; and 2% were on bicycles.

But the MUSC day of remembrance was not just a local event. The third Sunday of November each year is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Starting with a 1995 advocacy movement under the umbrella of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims, the initiative has increased to include countries on every continent around the world. Promotion by the World Health Organization (WHO) led to an endorsement of the World Day by the United Nations in 2005.