Slowpoke Law Aims to Prevent Car Accidents in Georgia

Slowpoke Law

Georgia’s New Slowpoke Law Hopes to Prevent Car Accidents Caused by Slow Drivers

Slowpoke LawA new traffic law in Georgia, the Slowpoke Law, went into effect on July 1st, and as of Sunday, July 27th, is being enforced by officers. The law aims to prevent car accidents on busy highways in the southern state, but doesn’t punish motorists driving too fast – instead, it targets those driving too slow.

“People who are driving faster sometimes get upset at people who are impeding them, causing them to make evasive maneuvers to get around the slower vehicles and sometimes lose control and crash,” said Corporal Tracy Webb, a police officer based in Athens, GA.

“If you have a slower moving vehicle such as 50, 55 or even 60 miles an hours it can greatly affect overall traffic safety,” said Lt. Mark Nicohls, Ohio State Highway Patrol Dayton Post.

The Slowpoke Law aims to ticket drivers going under the speed limit, who might cause car accidents as drivers speed up to pass them.

Enforcement of the law began in the third week of July, but so far, troopers are only issuing warnings to slower drivers. “We just want to educate the public,” the trooper said. “We don’t want people to get caught off guard.”

Once the slowpoke law goes into full effect, however, driving below the speed limit will be a misdemeanor and will be punishable with up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, the law specifies only drivers in the passing lane, or the lane furthest to the left on the highway – it will not punish drivers in the “slow lane,” which is furthest to the right.

“A lot of people are saying, ‘I’m doing the speed limit so I’m going to slow them down,’” Webb said. “That’s taking the law into your own hands. If you’re really concerned about someone’s driving, make a call to the local 911 center and give a vehicle description and tag number.”

Road rage car accidents can be caused when slow drivers remain in the passing lane and refuse to move for those driving at the speed limit or faster.

“The big question is what if someone’s doing the speed limit and are they able to be pulled over” for a citation, said Jeff Rothman, an Athens defense attorney who specializes in motor vehicle law. “It’s challengeable in that it the law may be vague for the person who is doing the speed limit.”

Car Accident Laws in South Carolina

Many people, including attorneys, regard car accident cases as run-of-the-mill. That is rarely the case. For example, many of the worst drivers on the road are often not insured, or do not carry enough insurance to pay for all the damage and injury caused in an automobile accident. What many people do not know is that their own insurance policy may cover them if they are injured in a wreck that is not their fault. Even when injuries do not appear serious initially, they can in fact cause permanent suffering in the accident victim’s life.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Car Accident Injury Cases

The attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC, understand what it takes to protect the rights of victims injured in car accidents. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident and suffered serious injuries that led to disability or a loss of income during treatment, you may have a case. The Strom Law Firm offers free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today at 803.252.4800

Charleston Police to Bust Uber Drivers

Uber Rideshare is Illegal in SC, Charleston Police Will Bust Uber Drivers

Uber driversThe Charleston Police Department announced on July 18th that they had plans to bust Uber drivers, and dissuade Charleston residents from using the mobile rideshare app.

The move came after the police department spoke with local taxi companies. Uber recently launched in four major South Carolina cities – Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Greenville – despite warnings from state and local governments that driving for Uber technically breaks the law in South Carolina.

Concern has been raised in several states across the US about the company’s lack of insurance, which can leave injured passengers in a tough financial spot if they are in a car accident in an Uber vehicle. Both Uber and Lyft recently stated that they insured their drivers in the event of an accident, but because drivers for the companies are independent contractors using their personal vehicles, the companies rely primarily on the driver’s personal insurance.

“I guess you would say they’re operating outside of the law,” said Dawn Hipp with the state Office of Regulatory Staff. “We weren’t able to get a regulatory framework started quickly enough for them or they felt like compliance with state law wasn’t something that they were interested in doing.

“We know that Uber has indicated it has a million-dollar insurance policy that would extend to those drivers, that would fill that gap. However we’ve not seen proof of that,” Hipp added.

The mobile rideshare apps have also been criticized for encouraging distracted driving. A family in San Francisco, the home base of Uber’s company, recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit after an Uber driver struck and killed a 6-year-old girl on New Year’s Day as the family crossed the side walk. Rideshare apps allow drivers to log in and find fares, which the plaintiffs claim encourages Uber’s drivers to look at their phone instead of the road.

Charleston police declared on Friday that Uber violates a number of state and local laws by using personal vehicles to pick up fares, instead of specially-licensed vehicles. Undercover police operations in the city will hand tickets to Uber drivers as high as $1,049, after beginning with warnings.

Concern has also been raised about the quality of Uber’s drivers. Although the rideshare company says that they run background checks on their contract employees, AJ Franklin, an owner of Charleston Green Taxi, reiterated other public concerns by stating that taxi companies are not vetted by proper authorities.

“We have a big public safety issue here, and we need to get them to understand that this a problem … and that we do not intend to ignore it,” City Councilman Bill Moody said.

After learning about the sting operations, Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said that the company would pay all tickets issued to Uber drivers in Charleston, even if the same driver is busted more than once.

On Tuesday, June 24th, the South Carolina State Office of Regulatory Staff released a statement of public advisory warning potential ridesharing users that uberX/Uber and other such companies do not have adequate insurance or registration with the state, putting passengers at risk of loss in the event of an SC personal injury accident.

“It’s a pretty serious issue,” said Russ Dubisky, executive director of the S.C. Insurance News Service. “My simple advice is just to read the policy and if they don’t have coverage, to make sure that they can get coverage somewhere.”

The Strom Law Firm Helps Victims of Distracted Driving in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed because of an accident, whether it was caused by distracted driving or DUI, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. The sooner you hire one of our accident lawyers, the sooner we will be able to investigate your case and the stronger your case will be. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to call us. 803.252.4800

Agency Updates Medical Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers

commercial truck driver

FMCSA Updates Medical Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers to Prevent Trucking Accidents

commercial truck driverIn May of this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated requirements for commercial truck drivers, stating that they needed to see a certified medical practitioner for medical exams, to ensure that health issues will not lead to more trucking accidents.

The FMCSA also updated its list of National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME), adding more than 8,000 health care professionals who are certified to give medical exams to commercial truck drivers. An additional 22,500 medical professionals have initiated the process of becoming certified.

As of May 21st, all medical exams on commercial truck drivers (CDL or non-CDL) must be performed by a medical examiner who has received training and passed the certification test, according to the federal agency.

“Medical examiners equipped with a thorough understanding of DOT fitness standards will be able to ensure that commercial drivers meet the health requirements necessary to operate on our highways and roads, thereby strengthening safety for every traveler,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, in a recent press release by FMCSA.

“I’m a firm believer in that all drivers need to be safe on the roads,” says commercial truck driver, Glenn Wiest, of North Dakota.

The examination checks for cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, and motor function. Commercial truck drivers are in one of the most stressful professions in the country, and an undetected physical problem can lead a black-out or worse physical issues on the road, which can lead to a serious trucking accident.

“We have to go through a nine-hour training course so that we’re up-to-date on the regulations,” says Dr. Joel Blanchard, Sanford Health. “And with this new education, we’re aware of some of these standards and are now providing what we feel is a better examination of commercial motor vehicle standards.”

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are often pressured by deadlines and have been on the road for a while and just want to get to their destination.

Other accidents are the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers will sometimes fall asleep at the wheel or at least lack sufficient attention and readiness to avoid truck accidents.

Some truck drivers also drive while using alcohol or other drugs unknown to their employer which causes them to drive recklessly and put others on the road in danger.

Injuries sustain in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of a job
  • Extended leave of absences
  • Family issues

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Injury Cases in Trucking Accidents

Anyone can be a victim in such accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • Commericial vehicle crash cases
  • Maintenance and equipment records for the vehicle
  • Oversize and overweight loads
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions
  • Drivers’ conditions

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers.  Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.

Uber Rideshare Branches Into South Carolina

uber rideshare

Despite Licensing Issues, Uber Rideshare Service Begins Across South Carolina

uber rideshareIn spite of a warning from the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff on June 24th, the popular Uber rideshare mobile app service has expanded into South Carolina.

Uber’s ridesharing service will cover four major metropolitan areas in South Carolina – Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Greenville. The rideshare service was invented as an alternative to taxi cabs, which are highly regulated in each state. Uber, however, is a national service based off an app for smartphones. The company is based in San Francisco.

On Tuesday, June 24th, the South Carolina State Office of Regulatory Staff released a statement of public advisory warning potential ridesharing users that uberX/Uber and other such companies do not have adequate insurance or registration with the state, putting passengers at risk of loss in the event of a  SC personal injury accident.

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have insisted in other state cases that they are not a traditional taxi service, but a mobile app that connects passengers with drivers, who use their personal vehicles and rely on personal insurance in the event of an accident. However, past problems with accidents have shown that the driver’s personal insurance does not always cover the costs of personal injury in the event of a car accident.

“It’s a pretty serious issue,” said Russ Dubisky, executive director of the S.C. Insurance News Service. “My simple advice is just to read the policy and if they don’t have coverage, to make sure that they can get coverage somewhere.”

The OSR said in its public statement that using ridesharing apps that hire drivers without a certificate from the Public Service Commission could leave customers with potential gaps in insurance coverage in the event of a car accident leading to personal injury. Some vehicle insurance policies have specific clauses that do not cover personal injury in the event that the driver uses the vehicle for commercial purposes.

However, Uber rideshare, along with Lyft and some other ridesharing companies, recently changed their driver policies to pay for insurance to cover cars while they are working for the rideshare service. Uber also insists that it conducts rigorous background screenings of drivers, as well as a driving history check, and also has regular quality control screenings. All drivers are independent contractors with Uber.

Uber rideshare does not, however, require certification for transportation services with the state, which has created regulatory problems in several states, including South Carolina. Additionally, local Charleston regulations require drivers to get a chauffer’s license, which Uber does not require.

The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Distracted Driving in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed because of an accident, whether it was caused by distracted driving or DUI, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. The sooner you hire one of our accident lawyers, the sooner we will be able to investigate your case and the stronger your case will be. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to call us. 803.252.4800

Bicyclist Death Leads to SC Felony DUI Charges

SC felony DUI

Driver Faces SC Felony DUI Charges After Striking and Killing a Bicyclist

SC felony DUI An Atlantic Beach resident was arrested on SC felony DUI charges on Saturday, July 12th, after striking and killing a bicyclist while driving drunk.

Demetrius Cordell Hall, 24, was arrested on Saturday on charges of SC felony DUI resulting in death. As of Sunday afternoon, he was still being held in jail with $25,000 bond.

Victim Herminio Vasquez Mendoza, 33, died at the scene of the accident, according to Horry County deputy coroner Tamara Willard. The cause of death, determined after the autopsy, was multiple trauma.

According to police reports, Mendoza was headed south on US 17 South on his bicycle, in a residential part of the highway, when Hall, who was driving a Nissan, struck him. Hall continued for a few blocks before getting out of his car and walking back to the scene of the crash, where he encountered several officers. Police conducted a field sobriety test and found that Hall was intoxicated. They took him to Seacoast Medical Center for a blood sample, and while the results of the blood test have not yet been released, the test backed up their felony DUI charges.

DUI Accident and Wrongful Death Litigation in South Carolina

 felony dui accident can transform a routine drive into a life-changing catastrophe. Every year, thousands of drivers end up in a South Carolina car wreck, and on average about 800 of them will lose their lives.

Typical causes of car accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (referred to as driving under the influence, or DUI), automobile defect, failed maintenance, failing to be careful, speeding, running stops signs or stop lights, failing to yield the right of way, not paying attention because of using cell phone or PDA, adjusting radio or DVD player, or eating while driving.

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, DUI, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death.  Surviving family members may be entitled to damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one.

Common wrongful death claims arise as a result of a:

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Car Accident Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, whether from a defective product or in a DUI car accident, you may have a wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

SC Rural Roads: Poor Maintenance Can Lead to An Accident

SC rural roads

SC Rural Roads: Poor Maintenance and Improperly Maintained Roads Are Dangerous

SC rural roadsAs you are driving down I-26, I-77, or I-20, you may look out for dangerous drivers who may cause an accident.  You may not pay attention to dangerous road conditions and/or improperly maintained roads when you think about a car wreck in SC.  As a South Carolina dangerous road accident attorney, we know that poor road conditions can lead to an accident.  Problems may appear on the main roads and interstates, but poor road conditions are even more likely to appear on SC rural roads. A report published on Thursday, July 10th, that examined the state of rural roads across the country shows that South Carolina’s roads create serious traffic hazards.  Dangerous roadway problems include:

  •  narrow lanes,
  • shoulder drop offs,
  • uneven pavement,
  • potholes,
  • improper and/or no guardrail,
  • no stoplight, sign, or warning,
  • low visibility, or
  • objects on the road.

The report, published by TRIP, a nation non-profit traffic research group, showed that SC rural roads were six times deadlier than other rural roads across the US.

The study found that South Carolina’s rural roads had 3.99 fatalities per 100 million miles of vehicle travel; the next closest state was Florida, with 3.35 fatalities per 100 million miles on that state’s rural roads, followed by West Virginia, with a rate of 2.8 fatalities.

“I think it is a wake-up call to South Carolina’s Legislature,” said Tom Crosby, spokesman for AAA Carolinas, the motor club that advocates for highway safety. “People are losing their lives because we haven’t raised the state gas tax to help keep our roads and bridges in good shape.”

Senator Thomas Alexander, Walhalla-R, stated that the traffic fatality rate on the state’s rural roads is “unacceptable.”

“Hopefully this will be a call to action for the Legislature to put a focus on those roads,” he said.

TRIP, created in 1971 as a nonprofit to research and evaluate economic data about transportation issues and traffic problems across the United States, submitted the report just as Congress begins debating what to do about the national highway trust fund, which is running out of money. The report showed that rural roads across the nation are in desperate need of funds, and lack many basic safety features, such as structurally sound bridges. These issues create significant problems for agricultural traffic, such as transportation of livestock and locally-grown foods.

“As this report makes clear, Washington’s failure to adequately fund repairs to our aging network of roads and bridges is having an even worse impact on our rural roads than the rest of our transportation system,” said Stephen Sandherr, CEO of Associated General Contractors of America.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation lists at least half of the SC rural roads as in poor shape. Two years ago, a task force in the state studied rural roads and estimated that real traffic and road safety improvements would cost $29 billion over 20 years.

Sen. Alexander said that the DOT says that the agency tries to resurface roads and add traffic safety measures to SC rural roads as much as possible.

“When they are resurfacing, they are adding an additional two feet to each side to try and help, to the best of their ability, so if a car goes off the road it doesn’t overcorrect,” he said. “Obviously there’s a lot of work to be done.”

Rick Todd, president of the South Carolina Trucking association, says that the state of South Carolina’s rural roads contributes significantly to traffic accidents and fatalities.

“I do believe if the roads were less crowded, we had better shoulders, better lighting and better striping and the road condition itself was safer, we could make an impact on those numbers,” he said. “But I really think most of our problems come down to just drivers.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Traffic Accidents and Injuries

Our 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. Contact the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case and how we can help. 803.252.4800

Moped Accident Deaths Up from Last Year

moped accident

South Carolina Moped Accident Deaths Higher Than Last Year

moped accidentAccording to a report from the South Carolina State Highway Patrol, while the number of accident deaths on motorcycles or while not wearing a seatbelt is down, the number of moped accident deaths has increased.

In the first six months of 2013, 7 people died in moped accidents, according to the SC Highway Patrol. In 2014, the first 6 months saw 18 moped accident deaths.

South Carolina lawmakers introduced moped safety bills in 2014  in response to concern about the number of moped accidents last year. However, none of the proposed bills passed.

BJ Jones, part owner of BJ’s Scooters in Myrtle Beach, believes that current restrictions on mopeds are to blame for the increase in moped accidents and deaths. In South Carolina, mopeds are not allowed to drive faster than 25 miles per hour, allegedly for safety reasons.  Despite the purported safety concern, being unable to keep up with traffic creates more problems than it solves.

“No matter if you’re on a 30, 35, or even 45 mile an hour road, you can only go 25 miles an hour so you know people that are texting and other stuff they come along and slam into the scooter because that scooter is legally not allowed to stay with the flow of traffic,” said Jones.

Although moped accidents are far too common in SC, the small bikes have become a primary means of transportation for many who cannot afford cars or cannot afford high gas prices.

“It’s easier for me to go back and forth to work I mean gas wise it’s cheaper on gas. I’m only 10 minutes from work, 15 at the most so it’s just easier to get back and forth,” said Ronald Powell.

Many moped dealerships offer safety tips, such as driving in the slow lane on roads, wearing helmets, and wearing reflective vests or other items of clothing so that drivers can more easily see riders and help prevent moped accidents. Even so, moped safety and moped accidents are a huge concern for South Carolina.

The number of accident deaths on the roads is up in general across the state, as well. According to the state highway patrol, 357 people have died in accidents on SC roads between January and June, but that is only up by one accident death from the same time period in 2013.

The State Highway Patrol also reports that 42 pedestrians were killed in the first half of 2014, which is the same number as that time period last year. Fewer motorcyclists have been killed in accidents this year – 35 in the first six months, compared to 54 in the same period in 2013.

The July 4th holiday weekend proved to be particularly deadly this year.

“July Fourth has proven to be one of the deadliest days of the year for traffic deaths,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “The holiday spirit and corresponding celebrations seem to outweigh caution, courtesy and common sense by drivers this time of year.”

Lt. Kelley Hughes, a spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said “We lost a lot of ground in June … And we’ve still got the rest of the summer to go.”

The Strom Law Firm Accident Attorneys Can Help with Moped Safety and Accident Lawsuits

The Strom Law Firm’s South Carolina bicycle, moped, and motorcycle accident attorneys will carefully analyze all aspects of the sequence of events, road conditions, and mechanical factors which led to the collision. If you have suffered a serious personal injury, or the wrongful death of a loved one due to another person’s negligence, call The Strom Law Firm, LLC at 803.252.4800 or contact us in Columbia, South Carolina, for a free consultation.

Google Driverless Cars and Accident Liability

Google’s Driverless Cars Create Accident Liability Questions

driverless carsDriverless cars are, like the electric car, becoming a huge focus for car manufacturers, especially Google, which has developed a working driverless car and stated at a conference earlier in June that it would try to begin production in the next few years.

The popularity of such an idea probably stems from the massive problem the United States has with distracted drivers. While drivers have always found ways to distract themselves, usually through playing with the radio, putting on makeup, or eating while driving, the advent of cell phones and smart phones has hugely increased the percentage of distracted driving car accidents. Not only do drivers talk on their phones, they can text; read, write, and send emails; compose social media messages; listen to music; and photograph and film themselves. Distracted driving has reached complicated levels, and it is complicated to legislate.

However, in modern distracted driving accidents, the accident liability usually falls to the driver. With driverless cars, distracted driving is much less likely to be a problem, but who is at fault in a car accident?

“Car makers are already building in technology that may save lives that is designed to detect and prevent crashes. Futurists see the highways populated by fully driverless vehicles, removing human error as a factor in causing accidents. However, no one has mentioned a technological error that may cause an accident. In reality, there is no such thing as a completely safe driver or a completely safe driverless car,” says Austin injury lawyer, Brooks Schuelke.

Michelle Krebs, analyst for AutoTrader.com, understands that driverless cars “will not be driverless completely — they will be cars you have the choice to drive or not drive. There are so many legal and insurance and regulatory issues, and none of them are being resolved.”

Google’s driverless cars are an especially interesting example. The car will use Google Maps, and the driver will input their location with the car following the recommended path. Many drivers make use of Google Maps anyway – and access to that type of technology on smart phones can lead to distracted driving accidents. The driverless car, however, is programmed to obey all traffic signals, including stop signs and stop lights, and the car does not have a steering wheel, meaning that the driver cannot take over – there is, by definition, no driver.

Because of that, however, when the car does potentially run into a pedestrian or another vehicle, who is to blame?

In 2012, Google hosted talks with several business owners and car manufacturers to discuss the problem of accident liability. With no driver, manufacturers become liable in the event of an accident, as software or hardware would be the clear source of the problem. Google assured the vehicle manufacturers that the internet company would take responsibility for accidents caused by their technology, including their hardware. Representatives claimed that it would be easy to find the cause of the accident, since Google would record data related to the car’s routes. However, that simple statement does not absolve manufacturers of accident liability, and the car companies called Google on the claim.

“I just couldn’t believe my ears and was like ‘Wow you live in a bubble,'” one of the automotive representatives said. “Car makers never get to decide who is at fault. It’s the lawyers, the judge and the jury.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Car Accident Death and Injury Cases

Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, whether from a defective product or in a car accident, you may have a wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

Increased July 4th Weekend Traffic May Lead to Increased SC Auto Accidents

SC auto accidents

July 4th Weekend Traffic Increase Expected, Increased SC Auto Accidents Likely

SC auto accidentsIn Columbia, South Carolina, during every holiday season, travelers crowd airports and roads to see family to take off on nice vacations. AAA has released a forecast for this year’s July 4th holiday, stating that the auto club believes weekend traffic will raise 1.9%. Increased traffic can lead to increased South Carolina car accidents.

That small percentage represents an increase from 40.3 million to 41 million people traveling during the July 4th weekend – and 8 in 10 of those travelers will be on the roads leading to increased SC auto accidents.

Because July 4th falls on a Friday this year, it will be very easy to take a long weekend;  consumers are more willing this year to take on credit card debt.

According to the forecast, rental car costs will stay about the same as last year, but hotel rates will be up 15%, and gas costs about 20 cents more than last year. However, airfare costs less, by about 5%.

Despite the lower airfares and higher gas prices, AAA still states that most people will travel by car, making traffic a serious problem, and increasing the risks of South Carolina car accidents and personal injuries. AAA says that most people will travel at least 50 miles away from home.

The National Safety Council said that, last year, there were 385 traffic accident deaths and 41,200 injures in the same July 4th weekend time period.

The NSC recommends that drivers during the July 4th weekend be very careful about how much they drink, avoid using their cell phones while driving, be careful of bad weather such as sudden summer thunderstorms, drive the speed limit, keep children in appropriate child safety seats, and avoid high traffic times.

AAA Offers the Following Defensive Driving Tips to Avoid a SC auto accident 

  • Manage your time, visibility and space on the road. Leave three to four seconds of following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Reduce blind spots:  adjust your side mirrors so you can no longer see the side of your car. Although it may seem awkward, it nearly eliminates blind spots in most vehicles.
  • Avoid internal and external distractions while operating your vehicle.  Pay attention to the road in front of you and vehicles around you as opposed to the radio, other passengers, mobile devices or activity on the side of the road. Avoid eating, grooming, or applying makeup while behind the wheel.
  • Do not drive drowsy. Get a full nights rest before any long trips and if you feel yourself nodding off, pull into a rest area or service station and move around to wake your body up before continuing down the road. Alcohol affects your judgment, reaction time and motor skills. It is never safe to drive after consuming alcohol.
  • Do not text and drive.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol affects everyone differently and its impact can change significantly when mixed with medications.  Consult your pharmacist for information on driving safely with all prescription and over-the-counter medications

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Cases from Distracted Driving Accidents

Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, distracted driving can lead to an accident, causing serious personal injury or even death. If you have been injured by an accident caused by distracted driving, 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. Contact us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.