Articles Posted in Auto & Car Accidents


British poet Ralph Hodgson wrote, “Time, you old gypsy man, will you not stay? Put up your caravan just for one day.” Time does have a way of getting away from us. And in the spring, most of us dread the day when we will “lose an hour.” I’m talking about Daylight Saving Time and changing our clocks on March 9 so we can “spring forward” on March 10.

South Carolina Job Safety
That phrase was coined to help us remember whether to set our clocks ahead or back in March. But it’s surely not descriptive of the response most people have to losing an hour of sleep; rather than springing forward, we’re likely to be dragging our wagon.

The physiological processes of living beings – plants and animals – are regulated by our circadian rhythm, a roughly 24-hour cycle. Even small disruptions in one’s circadian rhythm can have measurable adverse affects, such as increasing the chances of cardiovascular events, neurological problems, and accidents – both on the road and in the workplace.


We seem to be stuck on the topic of car seats lately, having written about regulation reforms and how-to’s. But a recent recall by Graco, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of car seats and other equipment for children, deserves attention since it affects a massive number of seats in which a child can become trapped due to a sticking latch mechanism.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Graco to recall the car seats and booster seats out of a concern that children could be harmed when the quick-release button isn’t quick and, in fact, in some cases doesn’t release at all. Graco “voluntarily” recalled 3.7 million toddler seats but so far has declined to recall an additional 1.8 million infant seats found by NHTSA to “contain a defect related to motor vehicle safety,” i.e., a latch that impedes the quick removal of a child in an emergency situation.

Graco says no injuries have resulted from the stubborn latches, even though desperate parents have reported having to cut the harness straps or call emergency personnel to extricate their child. NHTSA’s January 14 letter to Graco, however, mentions a pending California lawsuit that describes just the tragic situation NHTSA hopes to prevent. In that case, a two-year-old child was fastened into a Graco car seat and perished in a fire resulting from a car accident, allegedly because she could not be quickly removed.


Once again Toyota has come under fire, so to speak, because of a manufacturing/design defect in some of their vehicles. The problem is that the materials used in their heated seats – such a welcome luxury this time of year – are not as flame resistant as required by U.S. regulatory standards.

South Carolina Car Injuries

Toyota has issued a stop-sale order to their dealers for the affected models, which include the Camry, Camry hybrid, Avalon sedan, Avalon hybrid, Corolla subcompact, Sienna minivan, Tundra and Tacoma trucks made since August 2012, when the fabric supplier was changed. So far there hasn’t been a recall of cars already on the road.


There are many things responsible parents do to protect their children, including buckling them in when riding in the car. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children between one and 13 years of age.

Columbia SC Child Safety
More than a third of children under age 13 who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2011 were not in car seats or wearing seat belts. You know that these parents’ grief was complicated by regret that they did not insist that their child be safely restrained. Sixty percent of crashes involving children occur ten minutes or less away from home, so they should be buckled up even for short trips.

Children should be kept in car seats or booster seats until they are 12 years old or of sufficient size to wear a regular seat belt. You can find the specific age and size recommendations here:


The roads of South Carolina are sure to be wet this holiday season. Maybe not in the sense of rain or snow, but surely in the sense of wet vs. dry in alcohol parlance. From eggnog laced with whiskey served at open houses to free-flowing drinks at office party open bars, alcohol will be a part of many a holiday celebration. And then some folks who are filled with liquid Christmas cheer will get in their vehicles and try to navigate the highways.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving accidents will injure or kill 728 people each day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a rate two to three times higher than the rest of the year. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers.


A California woman made history last week when she became the first person in the world to be ticketed for driving while wearing Google Glass.


Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted optical display. If you’re not familiar with this emerging technological device, you might want to watch this demonstration video on YouTube to see how it works: Google Glass looks like a pair of funky glasses that are missing the left lens and have a small screen and controls mounted near the right eye and earpiece. After activating the computer by saying “OK, Glass” or tilting your head back, you can, through voice commands, take a picture, record a video, send a message, receive messages, check the weather, get directions, and look up information, all while you’re doing something else . . . like driving. Talk about distraction!

Read Full Article


The fiery church bus crash this week on I-40 in Tennessee brings to the forefront the issue of bus safety, and the vulnerability of persons traveling in buses – whether private or chartered commercial vehicles. The Tennessee crash involved a church bus from Statesville, N.C., headed home with a senior adult group which had been to a gospel jubilee in Gatlinburg. Early reports are that the front left tire on the bus blew out, sending the bus across the median and into oncoming traffic, where it collided with a Chevy Tahoe and a tractor-trailer. Eight people died and 14 were injured in the crash.

Motor coach investigators, post-crash investigators and accident reconstructionists will be working to process the accident scene. The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates mass transportation wrecks, has been alerted to the crash, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Maj. John Albertson of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security told the Knoxville News Sentinel, “It’s a very complete, detailed investigation.” You can be sure that details and answers to many questions will be forthcoming over the next few weeks.

But you may have some of the same questions we did: What regulations govern church buses? What safety precautions should be in place? What are the options now for the bus crash survivors and the families who lost loved ones?


Despite the fact that South Carolina is one of only two states in the nation that have not passed legislation to ban the use of cell phones or other electronic devices, we’re still subject to the laws of other states when we travel through them, and to the myriad local regulations of communities within the state which have passed their own texting bans: Columbia, Beaufort, Mt. Pleasant, Camden, Clemson, Sumter, West Union, and Walhalla among them.

One issue for local and state lawmen is how to enforce the ban. Some local police departments simply do not have the manpower or funding to step up surveillance, so their texting ordinance is on the books but not on the minds of officers seeking to stop more serious crimes. Other police forces cite the difficulty of proving the driver was texting when he or she has had time to lay the phone down between the time of initial sighting and being pulled over.

There have been some interesting proposals to enhance the enforceability of distracted driving laws. In New Jersey, a legislator filed Senate Bill (SB) 2783, which would allow police to look through cellphones without warrants, to determine whether drivers were texting or talking when a traffic accident occurred. No action has been taken on the bill because, oh yeah, there’s that constitutional requirement of probable cause before a search. The ACLU is on top of this one.


The charge has become commonplace: “Don’t text and drive.” When you hear those words, you most likely get the picture of a person behind the wheel of a car, cellphone in one hand, eyes and attention off the road and on the text. But an appeals court in New Jersey ruled on August 27, 2013, that those who send a text to a driver they know to be behind the wheel could also be held liable if the recipient of the text causes a crash. That’s a new twist.

In the New Jersey case, two teenagers were texting – one in his car and one at home. They sent each other 62 texts that day before the accident, according to court documents. Does that sound odd to you? It isn’t. According to a September 2012 CNN report, Americans ages 18 to 29 send and receive an average of nearly 88 text messages per day, compared to 17 phone calls. The non-profit CTIA found that 171.3 billion text messages are sent in the US every month. And, of course, teens aren’t the only ones who text; 77% of teens have admitted to watching their parents text and drive.

At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association. Texting is responsible for 1,600,000 accidents per year (National Safety Council) and 330,000 injuries per year (Harvard). We don’t know what the texts said. It doesn’t matter – No text is worth the risk. It can wait.

Contact Information