Study Links Motorcycle Accident Survival to Universal Helmet Laws

universal helmet laws

Universal Helmet Laws Help Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury, Increase Survival In Motorcycle Accidents

universal helmet lawsA new study showed that states with universal helmet laws, which require motorcyclists to wear helmets at all ages, are directly tied to lower rates of traumatic brain injury, severe personal injury, and increased overall motorcycle accident survival when compared to states that only require helmets for motorcyclists younger than 18 or 21.

The study was led by Dr. K. Tinsley Anderson of the University of Arizona. The researchers presented their findings at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in San Francisco, CA.

In the United States, 30% of deaths from accidents are caused by traumatic brain injury. In 2010, TBI was the cause of approximately 2.5 million ER visits. A recent study from the CDC confirmed that between 2001 and 2008, about 22% of nonfatal motorcycle accident injuries treated in emergency rooms were to the head and neck, which could lead to at least a concussion, and possibly a traumatic brain injury.

The researchers showed that with regard to motorcyclists in states with universal helmet laws  which require the driver and any passenger(s) to wear a helmet regardless of age, victims of motorcycle accidents were 2.5 times less likely to sustain a TBI.

Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, the researchers looked at 1 million hospital admissions for TBI resulting from a motorcycle accident where the victim was the driver or passenger on the motorcycle. They divided the 598 TBIs into three groups according to state law: universal helmet laws, under-18 helmet laws, and under-21 helmet laws. States with under-18 and under-21 helmet laws showed a TBI rate at 307 per 1,000 motorcycle accidents and 366 per 1,000, respectively. In states with universal helmet laws, the TBI rate was 282 per 1,000.

“Our study is unique because we prove that universal helmet laws save lives and decrease TBIs in the pediatric population as well. I think it’s an important group to look at because they are the least risk-averse group and the most inexperienced rider population, and are more likely to be unprotected in the absence of universal laws,” said Dr. Anderson.

Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Fatalities

A motorcycle accident typically involves serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries to the driver.  Many times, these accidents are the result of careless conduct by individuals driving automobiles and other larger motor vehicles. The injuries sustained as a result of a motorcycle accident are typically serious, often permanent, and sometimes deadly.

The amount of compensation that a person injured or killed in a motorcycle accident receives depends upon several facts, including the financial losses, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.

Typical causes of car and motorcycle accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 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.

The Strom Law Firm Accident Attorneys Can Help with Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

The Strom Law Firm’s South Carolina 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.

Bicycle Accident Deaths Increase in US

bicycle accident death

Wrongful Bicycle Accident Deaths Increase

On Monday, October 27th, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a survey showing that, between 2010 and 2012, bicycle accident deathbicycle accident deaths rose 16% in the US, after dropping steadily since 1975.

More people in the United States are using bicycles as a regular form of transportation, which means there are more cyclists on the road than in previous decades. Bicycle accident deaths caused by a collision between a bike and a car account for 2% of all deaths involving motor vehicles nationwide. California leads the country in bicycle accident deaths, with 5% of traffic accident fatalities involving a cyclist and a car; Florida came in second, with 4%.

Nationally, bicycle accident deaths jumped from 621 in 2010, to 680 in 2011, to 722 in 2012 – the last year data was available. Six states – California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Texas, in that order – accounted for 54% of all bicycle accident deaths in the two year period.

The report observed that “roads were built to accommodate motor vehicles with little concern for pedestrians and bicyclists. Integrating motor vehicles and bicycles in already-built environments presents challenges.”

“The report is just another sad reminder of how vulnerable people are when they ride a bike,” said Jim Merrell, campaign director for the Active Transportation Alliance, a Chicago-based organization that says it aims to make biking, walking and public transportation safer.

“These are high-population states with many urban centers and likely reflect a high level of bicycle exposure and interaction with motor vehicles,” said Dr. Allan Williams, the report’s author and a former chief scientist for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Although the increase in bicycle accident fatalities is shocking, the numbers are still lower than the current worst year on record – 1975, in which 1,003 cyclists died in traffic accidents.

Bicycle Accident Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits in South Carolina

Unfortunately, injuries from bicycle accidents are very common.  Negligent drivers send several hundred thousand cyclists to the hospital every year.  Some cyclists protect themselves by wearing a helmet, using a camera like a GoPro to film potential accidents, and obeying traffic laws, but sometimes that is not enough to prevent serious personal injury from a bicycle accident.

South Carolina bicycle accidents most often lead to:

  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head trauma, including traumatic brain injury
  • Road rash
  • And sometimes death

Whether were hit in a crosswalk, intersection, or on the road by a car following too closely, distracted driving, aggressive driving or failure to yield the right of way, the South Carolina personal injury accident lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight to secure fair compensation for your injuries.

If a loved one is severely injured or dies as a result of the negligence, reckless, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit filed 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.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Cases

If you are unsure of your rights, as a driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, and you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional damages, or funeral costs. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC, can help. Please contact us for a free consultation regarding your personal injury case. 803.252.4800.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed for Bike Crash that Killed Former Napster COO

bike crash

Family Will File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against LA Cop That Killed Entertainment Lawyer in Bike Crash

bike crashThe family of an entertainment lawyer and former COO of Napster announced on Thursday, August 28th, that they would move forward with the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Los Angeles County Police Department and the officer whose distracted driving led to a bike crash.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office declined, earlier this week, to file criminal negligence charges against the police officer who caused the bike crash. Reportedly, the sheriff’s deputy was driving along Mulholland Drive while using his mobile digital computer to send a work-related text message, when a bend in the road caused him to veer into the bike lane. Because of his distracted driving, the deputy fatally struck 65-year-old cyclist Milton Olin, Jr, a prominent Los Angeles entertainment lawyer and former COO of Napster.

However, the DA’s office announced that, because of an exemption in California distracted driving legislation that allows emergency responders to use cell phones and other portable electronic devices while driving, the sheriff’s deputy was not at fault and no criminal charges would be filed in the fatal distracted driving bike crash.

“[Deputy Andrew] Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking” Olin, according to the incident report. The DA’s office stated that there was insufficient evidence against Wood to file criminal negligence charges.

In response to the announcement related to Olin’s December 8th, 2013 death, Olin’s family stated on Thursday that they would move forward with a wrongful death civil lawsuit, including Los Angeles County, the county sheriff’s department, and Deputy Wood responsible for Olin’s bike crash death.

“The county has acknowledged that Deputy Wood was driving while distracted,” said the Olin family attorney. “The Olin family intends to move forward with their lawsuit to hold the county, the Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Wood accountable through the civil justice system.”

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in South Carolina

The unexpected loss of a loved is a very painful experience.  While mourning their loss, surviving family members are often with mounting medical bills, the loss of an income, and sudden expenses such as hospital bills and funeral costs.

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, reckless, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit filed 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.

Depending upon the circumstances, our South Carolina wrongful death attorneys may also assert a claim for punitive damages intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in such behavior.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The wrongful death lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC, will help you during this extremely difficult and emotional time. You do not have to face the emotional and financial pain of a loved one’s wrongful death alone. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 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 caseContact 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.

49er’s Culliver Arrested for Bicycle Accident, Criminal Charges

bicycle accident

Cornerback for 49ers Arrested on Criminal Charges for Causing Bicycle Accident

bicycle accidentChris Culliver, the cornerback for the 49ers, was arrested on Friday, March 28th, on criminal charges including causing a bicycle accident.

Culliver, who is currently out of jail after posting bail, was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and reckless driving for causing a bicycle accident.

Reportedly, around 10:30 AM on Friday, Culliver was driving a white Ford Mustang when he hit a cyclist near downtown San Jose, CA. Although the cyclist was not seriously hurt, Culliver attempted to flee the scene. A witness to the bicycle accident followed Culliver and tried to stop him as the football player attempted to flee the scene. Culliver allegedly threatened the witness with an illegal pair of brass knuckles, then attempted to flee the scene again – however, Culliver hit the witness’s vehicle, which kept him at the scene of the bicycle accident until police officers arrived.

When police arrived at the scene of the bicycle accident, they searched Culliver’s car, and booked the football star into Santa Clara County Jail for felony hit-and-run, felony reckless driving with injury, felony possession of brass knuckles, misdemeanor hit-and-run, and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent matter involving Chris Culliver,” San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “We will remain in contact with Chris and the local authorities as we continue to gather the facts regarding this situation. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we will reserve further comment at this time.”

South Carolina Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Attorney

Unfortunately, injuries from bicycle accidents are very common.  Negligent drivers send several hundred thousand cyclists to the hospital every year.  Some cyclsits protect themselves by wearing a helmet, using a camera like a GoPro to film potential accidents, and obeying traffic laws, but sometimes that is not enough to prevent serious personal injury from a bicycle accident.

Bicycle accidents most often lead to:

  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head trauma, including traumatic brain injury
  • Road rash
  • And sometimes death

Whether were hit in a crosswalk, intersection, or on the road by a car following too closely, distracted driving, aggressive driving or failure to yield the right of way, the South Carolina personal injury accident lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight to secure fair compensation for your injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a South Carolina ATV accident or a bike accident, contact the Strom Law Firm today.  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.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Cases

If you are unsure of your rights, as a driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, and you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills or lost wages. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC, can help. Please contact us for a free consultation regarding your personal injury case. 803.252.4800.

Orangeburg Man Faces Felony Charges in Motorcycle Accident

motorcycle accident

Suspect Arrested on Felony Charges for Manslaughter, DUI After Motorcycle Accident

motorcycle accidentA man from Orangeburg now faces felony charges related to a motorcycle accident that killed the off-road bike’s driver.

The suspect, 41-year-old Shareef Shabazz, may also face criminal charges for possibly beating the driver after hitting the dirt bike.

Shabazz went before a magistrate on Monday, March 31st, on a criminal charge of felony driving under the influence involving death. His bond was set at $75,000.

According to Orangeburg County Chief Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle, the victim, 36-year-old Travis Morgan, died from blunt force trauma and internal injuries caused by the motorcycle accident.

Highway patrol investigators say the motorcycle accident occurred around 7 PM on Sunday, March 30th. Shabazz ran his Chrysler into the back of Morgan’s Kawasaki off-road bike. Although Shabazz was not injured in the motorcycle accident, he was taken to a local hospital for examination “because he was beat up after running over the victim.”

Shabazz could face additional criminal charges if the motorcycle accident is ruled intentional. Many of Morgan’s relatives, who live in the area where the accident occurred, think that the felony DUI was intentional. However, investigators are still examining evidence.

Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Fatalities

A motorcycle accident typically involves serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries to the driver.  Many times, these accidents are the result of careless conduct by individuals driving automobiles and other larger motor vehicles. The injuries sustained as a result of a motorcycle accident are typically serious, often permanent, and sometimes deadly.

The amount of compensation that a person injured or killed in a motorcycle accident receives depends upon several facts, including the financial losses, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.

Typical causes of car and motorcycle accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 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, reckless, 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 Car and Motorcycle 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 caseContact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

ATV Accident Numbers Rise in Nice Weather

ATV accident

With Nice Weather, More People Use ATVs, End Up in ATV Accidents

ATV accidentAccording to Maury County Fire Department District 1 Chief Richard Schatz, nice weather coincides with a rise in ATV accidents.

“When the weather gets nicer, the ATV and the motorcycle traffic picks up, Schatz said. “ … We typically run a significant number of motorcycle accidents this time of year.”

In Tennessee, a wreck involving two people occurred in the first week of March. Ragan R. McFall, 20, and Michael D. Moore, 56, of Columbia, TN, were riding their ATV when it flipped, according to the incident report. Both subjects were awake and complained about back pain – crushed spines or vertebrae are common problems associated with ATV accidents.

“On arrival I came in contact with one female (Ragan McFall) laying on her belly that was several feet from the ATV,” the officer’s narrative read. “There was a male (Michael Moore) that was laying next to the ATV with his feet under the ATV on the passenger side.”

The two accident victims were air lifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment.

Despite ATV Accidents, Lawmakers Allow Them on the Roads

Although many people suffer serious injury in ATV accidents, more state lawmakers are allowing these recreational vehicles on roads, not just on dirt trails. Warning labels on ATVs say that they are not to be driven on roads – although they can reach highway speeds, the recreational vehicles do not have seatbelts, unlike cars or trucks.

Since 2012, 18 states have legalized driving ATVs on roads in rural counties. Local jurisdictions in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin have considered or approved such actions since the beginning of 2012.

However, few of these states have passed complementary safety measures like required helmets.

“We are moving backward on this issue,” said Rachel Weintraub, the legislative director and senior counsel for the Consumer Federation of America.

“It’s a very unfortunate trend,” said Robert Adler, acting chairman of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is studying ATV accidents and safety with the aim of possibly writing new regulations governing the design of the vehicles.

“I think there’s some very good attributes to it,” Montgomery County Sheriff Joe Sampson said of ATV legislation, “if it’s used for animal husbandry–the farmers out using their ATVs, going from one farm to the other. On the flipside of it, I can see a lot of people that don’t have any place to ride. They’re going to be out on the dirt roads, tearing up the dirt roads, out in the mud, and just romping up and down the ditches, making washouts through that. I see a lot of possible damages and accidents from a lot of people just out there playing on the roads.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with ATV Accident Cases

If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, contact the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC, today for a free consultation today. 803.252.4800

SC House Passes Moped Safety Bill

moped safety

Concerns About Moped Safety Lead to New Bill

moped safetyThe South Carolina House of Representatives passed a new bill on Tuesday, February 4th, to improve moped safety across the state.

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SC DMV) defines a “moped” as “a cycle with pedals or without pedals and with a motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters. Its power will not exceed two brake horsepower and the motor is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty miles an hour on level ground.”

The new bill requires moped drivers to wear reflective vests, and the moped itself must have a tail light that continuously flashes while the vehicle is in motion. The moped safety bill also makes it illegal for drivers to take their mopeds on roads where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or more – mopeds cannot go above that speed, and it is unsafe for them to enter faster traffic.

Reportedly, the moped safety bill gained momentum after a state representative almost had an accident involving a moped driver.

“I was on a 55 mile-an-hour roadway, four-lane, and it was almost dark and I came up on a moped doing about 30. And I barely saw the light. I tried to switch to the left lane, almost hit another car that was coming up,” says Rep. Bill Whitmire, R-Walhalla. “So it’s mainly to protect not only the moped driver but the automobile drivers as well.”

After that, Rep. Whitmire sponsored the bill to help make changes in moped safety, and the bill was filed in early December 2013. However, critics of the legislation believe the bill is going too far.

“I think there’s been between 90 and a hundred deaths in the last few years of moped drivers, so that’s my main focus for this,” he says.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 92 moped drivers have been killed in vehicle accidents across the state in the last 3 years.

“There’s a difference between requiring the equipment of a vehicle, to have certain safety precautions. I think it’s a different step if you require the rider of that to have vests or helmets or what not. So to me, it just is incremental step to those kinds of things,” says Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington.

South Carolina moped rider Travis Harmon agrees that moped safety is important, but he thinks it should be a personal choice to wear a reflective vest.

“I think it’s probably going to make riding a moped a lot safer here in South Carolina. I also think it’s a horrible encroachment on our civil liberties. This is a state where to ride a motorcycle you don’t even have to have a helmet,” says Harmon.

Columbia moped dealer Justin Clark also doesn’t like the reflective vests legislation.

“If you see somebody in a reflective vest, you have to get right up on them to actually see it to start with. That’s basically too little too late, in my opinion,” he says. “Now the flashing red light, I agree with that a lot. I like that whole idea. I think it’ll bring attention a lot more, just like a cop car or an ambulance …That’s going to catch your attention a lot more than just a regular tail light on a moped,” he added.

The moped safety bill must pass the Senate next, then go to the governor for final approval before it becomes law.

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.