South Carolina Drivers Ranked Second-Worst in Nation

South Carolina drivers

Website Declares South Carolina Drivers Number 2 in Nation for Worst Driving

South Carolina driversA new report through the website CarInsuranceComparison.com claims that South Carolina drivers are among the worst in the nation.

According to the website, the survey gathered data using 5 criteria: fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, failure to obey, drunk driving, number of issued tickets, and careless, or reckless, driving.

South Carolina drivers were the worst when it came to careless driving, which looked at pedestrians and cyclists killed per 100,000 people. The statistic came from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The state’s drivers are also next to the bottom for percentage of fatalities related to alcohol, and fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

Only Louisiana’s drivers ranked worse than South Carolina drivers, because the state’s drivers were worse at obeying traffic signals and wearing seatbelts, and received more tickets.

The list’s worst drivers come from Southern States. The complete list is:

1. Louisiana

2. South Carolina

3. Mississippi

4. Texas

5. Alabama

6. Florida

7. Missouri

8. North Carolina

9. Montana

10. North Dakota

11. Oklahoma

12. Nevada

13. Tennessee

14. Georgia

15. Pennsylvania

South Carolina Drivers Have Their Own Notorious YouTube Channel

A YouTube user and SC resident has chronicled, on film, how bad South Carolina Drivers actually are.

User HaloMasterMind117 reportedly used a dashcam to capture over 100 videos, all posted to his channel, of terrible South Carolina drivers.

“This is a channel devoted to exposing bad drivers. I also try to use it for educational purposes on driving safety,” HaloMasterMind117’s YouTube bio says. “I mainly film around the greater Columbia, SC area, but I have ventured to cities such as but not limited to Rock Hill, Greenwood, Florence, Orangeburg, Charleston, and Georgetown.”

“… I have lived in both New York City and Los Angeles, each for about 4 years, so please do not tell me that I should visit there.”

Despite South Carolina drivers’ terrible reputation, however, many counties and cities in the state are making an effort to curb the problem. Charleston recently passed a ban on texting and driving, after several counties and townships around the large city banned the practice. The state legislature is now considering similar legislation for the entirely of South Carolina. Police forces regularly crack down on drunk drivers, including the notorious 5 Points area of Columbia, as well.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help South Carolina Drivers with Reckless Driving and Accident-Related Charges

South Carolina drivers face serious penalties from law enforcement if they practice reckless driving, drunk or impaired driving, or fail to use their seatbelts. In SC, if you accumulate a total of 12 points your license may be suspended.  Your license may also be suspended if you fail to pay your traffic ticket within 12 months of the day it is issued.

If you have been pulled over and charged with reckless driving, distracted driving, texting while driving, or other traffic offenses, you may need a solid defense to help lower your ticket or keep you out of jail. Whether you are charged with a two-point violation, four-point violation, or even a six-point violation, you need to make sure that your driver’s license is protected. Defense attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today at 803.252.4800

Mars Candy Company Co-Owner Pleads Guilty to Fatal Reckless Driving

Heir to Mars Candy Company Fortune Pleads Guilty in Court to Reckless Driving Charge which Caused Fatalities

mars candyBillionaire co-owner and heiress to Mars Candy Company fortune Jacqueline Badger Mars pleaded guilty on Thursday, December 5th, to a reckless driving charge in connection with a fatal accident that occurred in October of this year.

The reckless driving charge stems from a fatal crash on October 4th, in which Mars’s 2004 Porsche SUV collided with a minivan. The accident killed the passenger, 86-year-old Irene C. Ellisor of Huntsville, TX, who was not wearing a seatbelt, as well as the unborn child of driver Ashley Blakeslee.

Blakeslee was seriously injured as a result of the crash, which caused her to lose her unborn son. She was 8 months pregnant at the time of the reckless driving accident.

The group was in Virginia for Blakeslee’s brother’s wedding.

“I know I can’t go back in time. I can’t change what happened,” Mars said. “I will always live with the grief and loss caused by this tragedy.”

According to court records, Mars said that she fell asleep at the wheel just before the midday crash. She had not been drinking or using drugs, and her phone records showed that she had not been using her cell phone at the time of the accident. Witnesses to the accident said that Mars had not been speeding or driving erratically prior to the accident. Before her fatal reckless driving incident, Mrs. Mars had a perfect driving record.

Mars avoided jail time, and agreed to pay $2,500 to the family. Her driver’s license was also suspended for 6 months. Reportedly, Mars flew to Texas to apologize to the whole family directly, and at her hearing on Thursday, the Blakeslees pleaded for Mars to avoid jail time, saying they had forgiven her.

“We have only forgiveness in our hearts for her,” Sharon Acker, Ashley’s mother, said, her voice trembling. “My husband and I would like to say thank you to Mrs. Mars for her kindness thus far and hope in time that she, too, will find peace.”

Ken Jarrell, a Mars family spokesman, said that Mrs. Mars provided “appropriate financial assistance” to the family on top of the penalty for her reckless driving charge, but he declined to discuss details. No civil suit has been filed against Mars.

Reckless Driving and Other Traffic Offenses in South Carolina

Common South Carolina Traffic Offenses Include:

  • speeding,
  • following too closely,
  • driving with a suspended license, DUS
  • DUI,
  • driving without insurance,
  • careless driving, and
  • reckless driving.

Many people do not consider that in addition to your traffic citation, you can lose points off of your driver’s license and you may be forced to pay increased insurance premiums.

When making your decision about how to best handle your traffic ticket, you need to make sure that you understand the consequences of your conviction.  A plea of guilty, nolo contendere, which means that you are not admitting guilt but that you do not contest the charge, or simply forfeiting your bond are all considered a conviction in South Carolina.

In SC, if you accumulate a total of 12 points your license may be suspended.  Your license may also be suspended if you fail to pay your traffic ticket within 12 months of the day it is issued.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Reckless Driving Charges

If you have been pulled over and charged with reckless driving, distracted driving, texting while driving, or other traffic offenses, you may need a solid defense to help lower your ticket or keep you out of jail. Whether you are charged with a two-point violation, four-point violation, or even a six-point violation, you need to make sure that your driver’s license is protected. Defense attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today at 803.252.4800

Woman Issued Distracted Driving Ticket for Google Glass Fights Back

Google Glass Pioneer Issued Distracted Driving Ticket for Wearing Google Glass, Says She Will Fight Charge

google glassA woman issued a ticket for distracted driving in California says that she will fight the charge, because simply wearing Google Glass is not illegal and does not imply impairment to her driving.

In a tweet about the incident, Cecelia Abadie, one of the pioneers behind Google Glass, said that she pleaded not guilty to the distracted driving charge in court on Tuesday, December 2nd. She acknowledges that she was wearing the high-tech augmented reality specs while driving, but she insists that the device was powered off at the time so she could focus on the road.

Her attorney says that she will testify in traffic court in January that the Google Glass device was powered off while she was driving, but it activated again when she looked up at the arresting officer. Abadie claimed in November that “the law is not clear, the laws are very outdated” when it comes to technology. Many states are just now catching up with cell phones and smart phones, using distracted driving and reckless driving to help prevent cell phone use, and specifically banning texting and driving or talking while driving.

Police records show that Abadie was actually pulled over for speeding, but the officer added the additional distracted driving citation because he saw the Google Glass. California Highway Patrolman Marc Hale, who issued the ticket, countered that claim by saying that “anything that takes your attention away from the motoring public in front of you is a distraction.” Hale used a California law stating that “if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen” is visible, then police can issue a distracted driving charge.

Her ticket also shows that she was driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.

California court will now have to decide if simply wearing Google Glass while driving should be illegal.

Distracted Driving in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • talking on a cell phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod

It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

Greenville Considers Cell Phone Ban to Prevent Distracted Driving

cell phone

Greenville Considers Ban on Cell Phones in Drivers’ Hands, to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents

cell phoneGreenville, SC is considering a ban on using cell phones for any reason while driving, to help prevent distracted driving accidents in the city’s streets.

The city created a task force to look at driving safety. On Monday, December 2nd, Mayor Pro Tem David Sudduth said that the task force determined that a ban on texting and driving did not do enough to prevent distracted driving accidents and fatalities, and the only way to keep Greenville citizens safe would be to ban using a cell phone for any reason while driving. However, the task force did say that hands-free talking, with a blue tooth device or with speaker phone on, would be allowed.

Councilwoman Jil Littlejohn questioned the task force’s position, noting that there are many causes of distracted driving, including changing the radio station.

More than a dozen cities and counties in South Carolina have banned texting and driving so far this year, but none of them have passed bans on using cell phones in cars to prevent distracted driving.

Distracted Driving in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • talking on a cell phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod

It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The statistics on distracted driving nationwide are staggering:

  • 20 percent of crashes which resulted in an injury involved a report of distracted driving
  • of the deaths in distracted related driving accidents, 995 involved a report that the driver was using a cell phone
  • in 2009, 5,474 people were killed on US roadways and an estimated additional 448, 000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving
  • The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers involved the under 20 age group
  • Drivers who use hand held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves
  • using a cell phone while driving, whether its hand held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a BAC of .08, the legal limit!

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.