May 2011 Archives

May 27, 2011

Victims and Survivors of Truck Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere Look to Revise Trucking Regulations


Two motorists died this past weekend after a tanker slammed into a bridge abutment and burst into flames, according to WCNC. The accident shut down the northbound lanes of Interstate 85, the Highway Patrol reported. Interstate 85 northbound lanes will remain closed until crews complete repairs to the bridge. The accident forced the creation of a six-mile detour around the bridge.
232053_semi-truck_3.jpg
A recent two-day forum in Washington D.C. aimed to resolve problems in these common trucking accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere across the United States. Advocates sought to place stricter regulations on these trucking companies and their commercial vehicles.

Our North Carolina car accident attorneys recognize the dangers of these oversized loads. Heavy cargo poses threats to motorists sharing the roadways with the large, commercial trucks. Drivers also experience severe fatigue while transporting these large loads as they work long, hard hours with reportedly low pay.

Big rig crashes are common across the Valley and the country, and one of the biggest factors is fatigue, reports CBS 47.

Because of such trucking accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is looking to revise the current truck-driver rules to increase safety across the board.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 3,500 deaths resulting from traffic accidents involving these large trucks in 2009. In that year, 75 percent of the deaths were occupants of the other vehicles, 10 percent were nonoccupants and 15 percent were occupants of the trucks.

That same year resulted in about 74,000 people with injuries from these accidents. Again, occupants in the other vehicle sustained most of the injuries.

To address these numbers, the NTSB is considering cutting back on hours that a truck driver can work consecutively behind the wheel.

But that might not solve the problem.

In an effort to protect motorists from large trucks, families of accident victims, crash survivors and safety advocates are joining members of Congress to announce the introduction of the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA). This act will aim to cap the length and weight limitations for vehicles operating on federal-aid highways to help reduce the risks of potentially fatal accidents, according to the Auto Channel.

Other changes are being considered in additions to size and weight caps, but the safety board will meet with drivers, law enforcement and experts before making any decisions.

Continue reading "Victims and Survivors of Truck Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere Look to Revise Trucking Regulations" »

May 25, 2011

Ride of Silence to Honor Victims of Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere


A bicyclist was struck and killed last week as he was biking in West Ashley, according to the Charleston County Coroner's Office. Local authorities report that the 25-year-old bicyclist was struck by a vehicle on Old Towne Road. He was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was later pronounced dead, according to 5 News. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene but was later located and apprehended. He faces a $50,000 bond and charges of felony DUI.
1331178_bike_lane.jpg
In an attempt to raise awareness about such bicycle accidents in North Carolina, residents across the state joined together for the annual Ride of Silence in Charlotte earlier this month. Local cyclists met in the Queens University parking lot off of Wellesley Drive to kick off one of the memorial rides. Cyclists traveled along state roads, under 12 mph, to recognize those who have been killed or injured from these accidents. A number of local bicyclists have been killed in our area over the last few years, and this ride is meant to remember them in addition to raising awareness. This year's ride stretched about nine miles, according to the Ride of Silence website.

Our North Carolina car accident attorneys recognize the dangers that bicyclists face on our state roadways. We also recognize the dangers they face elsewhere in the country. This ride takes place in many areas across North and South Carolina and elsewhere in the world. It is estimated that almost 300 cities, all 50 states, 18 different countries and all seven continents participate in the memorial ride.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 600 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 2009. An additional 51,000 bicyclists were injured in these incidents. These deaths accounted for roughly 2 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities throughout the year.

Most of these bicycling accidents from 2009 occurred during the day - between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. - in urban areas at non-intersections. There was a 5 percent increase in such accidents from the previous year.

Most bicyclists killed were males of the average age of 41. In last 10 years, the number of people killed or injured in that group has steadily increased.

Yield To Life offers these tips to motorists to help them keep bicyclists safe:

-Remember that bicyclists follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Treat them as another vehicle.

-Be careful when passing a cyclist. Do not do so until you have made certain that you can safely.

-Be careful when turning right. Always keep an eye out for bicyclists that are parallel with you that may plan to travel straight.

-Look around your entire car before putting your car into reverse and backing up.

-Hesitate honking at bicyclists as the noise may startle them and create a hazardous situation for the both of you.

-Yield to bicyclists at intersections.

Continue reading "Ride of Silence to Honor Victims of Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere" »

May 23, 2011

Water Dangers Prove Fatal in Carolina Car Accident


A fatal North Carolina car accident at the intersection of Dick Scobee Road and Ronald McNair Boulevard required the assistance of Horry County Fire Rescue and the South Carolina Highway Patrol after a pickup trucked landed in a retention pond. Debris surrounded the accident and a nearby gate was damaged, according to Carolina Live.
554448_flood_in_budapest.jpg
The accident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. last Sunday. A pilot who witnessed the tragic accident from overhead reported it to authorities. An autopsy is to be performed on the driver this week.

Our North Carolina car accident attorneys understand that vehicle submersion is a big deal in our state. Local drivers should always be aware of, and try to avoid, flood waters and those areas with water deep enough to force tires to lose contact with the ground. These areas can result in fatal - and preventable - accidents.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it only takes as little as six inches of water to cause a vehicle to lose control and stall. Two feet can completely pick up and carry away most vehicles. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks are just as susceptible to these incidents.

"Our crime scene investigators are out, and our criminal investigative detectives are also looking into the case trying to glean as much information as possible," said Horry County Police Lt. Keith Strickland.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that almost 400 lives were lost in 2007 because of vehicle submersion.

Vehicle submersion often happens quickly and can panic vehicle occupants. For these reasons, it is important for families to plan and rehearse an escape procedure. While knowing how to effectively avoid vehicle submersion areas is by far the safest practice, knowing how to escape a submersion incident can mean the difference between life and death.

The NSC offers you these tips to help you if you experience any vehicle submersion:

-Keep your seat belt fastened until you're ready to exit the vehicle. A seat belt will help to keep you steady as you try to open the door or break out the window.

-Right after your car hits the water, try to get a window open and escape to the top of the vehicle before the water has a chance to fill your car.

-Assess the current of the waters before swimming to safety. If you can't determine a current flow, let out some breath to create bubbles in the water and follow the bubbles to safety.

-If water has rushed into the vehicle, don't try to open the door until pressure has equalized on both sides.

-As you wait for the pressure to equalize, be sure that you unlock your door, keep your shoes on and remove anything you may be wearing that could weigh you down during your swim.

-If you live near these flood zones or near bodies of water, consider purchasing a hammer-type device to help break your window in one of these situations. It is recommended that you keep this device in your glove compartment or mounted somewhere close to you.

Continue reading "Water Dangers Prove Fatal in Carolina Car Accident" »

May 19, 2011

Weight Restrictions Could Reduce Trucking Accidents in Hickory


Recently CBS 47 reported on a two day forum in Washington, D.C. that focused on how to prevent semi truck crashes and deaths.
26788_semi_mirror_2.jpg
Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers in Hickory and elsewhere hope the forum addressed the issue of fatigue driving and overweight trucks, a leading cause of North Carolina truck accidents.

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported almost 3,400 fatalities from crashes involving large trucks and over 74,000 injuries nationwide. Fatal large truck crashes happen mostly in rural areas (64 percent), on a weekday (79 percent) and during daytime hours (66 percent). In North Carolina, of the 1,778 fatal crashes reported in 2009, 115 involved large trucks and in South Carolina 78 of the 1,156 fatal crashes involved a large truck. One suggestion to decrease driver fatigue is to cut back on the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. Currently truckers can drive 11 hours in a 14 hour work day and can drive 70 hours every 8 days. A new rule would potentially decrease driving time to 10 hours a day. Some argue cutting off an hour will just lead to other issues like speeding.

As safety advocates consider decreasing hours of service, Congress is flirting with the idea of increasing truck weight limits.

The Daily Comet asks the question: Should a tractor trailer weigh more than 80,000 pounds? Congress will be focusing on this issue because two bills are currently up for debate. The first one, to freeze the 80,000 limit and the other to let states decide if they want 97,000 pound trucks travel their roadways.

Some groups want the higher poundage saying putting more cargo on the trucks will lessen the number of trucks on the road, thus saving fuel. Other groups say to leave the weight limit as is, citing heavy trucks equal more horrific crashes and increased wear and tear on highways.

SETA (Safe and Efficient Transportation Act) is the bill to increase the truck weight limits and SHIPA (Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act) is the bill to leave the weights as is. Both bills have been filed in House and Senate.

Continue reading "Weight Restrictions Could Reduce Trucking Accidents in Hickory" »

May 17, 2011

Teen car accidents medically expensive in North Carolina and often require an experienced law firm


Young drivers are at such a high risk for being involved in a car accident in Charlotte and elsewhere that we continue to make it a focus point on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog. We recently posted that May is Teen Safety Awareness Month and that Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) in North Carolina are making tremendous efforts to bring awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving to teens throughout the state.
1098526_spidometer_with_100kph_on_it.jpg
Our North Carolina car accident lawyers applaud teens who pressure other teens to be safer drivers because peer pressure is a strong force among this age group and can be incorporated positively if gone about the right way. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens so a valiant effort must be made if we want to minimize the public health threat that it has become.

Fox Charlotte recently reported about the fatal accident killing a teen driver from North Mecklenburg High School. The young driver was trying to make a left turn onto Browne Road when she was struck by a truck in the intersection. The student was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center from severe injuries sustained during the accident.

The two passengers riding with the teen driver killed in the accident were admitted to the hospital for medical attention, according to the Charlotte Observer. Both passengers suffered serious injuries but are expected to live. The driver of the truck was treated and released for minor injuries at Presbyterian-Huntersville Hospital shortly after the accident.

If your teen is involved in an accident, consider seeking the professional help of a car accident law firm in North Carolina immediately. Reuters recently reported that North Carolina is ranked among the top ten states in annual medical costs and work loss expenses related to motor vehicle crash fatalities. Children, teens and young adults are at the highest risk -- car crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 5 to 34. It is estimated that motor vehicle deaths cost approximately $41 billion a year in medical and lost wage expenses. North Carolina was ranked 6th highest for medical and work loss expenses at $1.5 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Continue reading "Teen car accidents medically expensive in North Carolina and often require an experienced law firm" »

May 17, 2011

Holiday weekends bring a heightened risk of car accidents in Gastonia, elsewhere in state


774605_car_accident_2.jpg

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner so it is a good time for North Carolina car accident attorneys to remind motorists to buckle up and be safe on roadways during the holiday weekend. Holiday weekends often encompass summer barbeques or gatherings which lead to heightened traffic and a high risk of car accidents in Gastonia, Winston-Salem or Greensboro.

The National Safety Council recently released their estimates for traffic crashes during this Memorial Day weekend which begins Friday, May 27th at 6:00 p.m. and continues through to Monday, May 30th at 11:59 p.m. The organization estimates over 400 fatalities and another 39,400 injuries will occur nationwide during the upcoming holiday weekend. The NSC encourages the use of safety belts this holiday weekend as they estimate over 100 lives could be saved nationwide if all drivers and passengers were to wear their seat belts.

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System reported 13 fatal crashes in North Carolina on Memorial Day. South Carolina reported 6 fatal crashes. The two states combined for 51 fatalities on Memorial Day alone in 2009 with 28 reported deaths in North Carolina and 23 reported deaths in South Carolina.

The NSC recommends the following tips to ensure safety this Memorial Day holiday weekend:
-Driving under the influence impairs your ability to drive and react so arrange for a designated driver if you plan to drink at a weekend gathering.

-Drive defensively while expecting the unexpected. Exercise extra caution if severe weather is a threat.

-Put your cell phone down while you are behind the wheel.

-Motorists who feel tired should pull of the road to rest or remain at home or at the party rather than driving drowsy.

-Don't put your car in drive until everyone in the vehicle is buckled in safely. All children should be placed in age-appropriate safety seats to ensure a reduced chance of serious injury in a motor vehicle crash.

-In order to reduce the frustration of driving in high volume traffic, plan to leave early and allow plenty of time for delays. Allowing ample travel time reduces the urge to speed in order to get to your destination on time.

Motorists should be mindful that law enforcement officials will be implementing the zero-tolerance of safety belt laws nationwide from May 23 to June 5, 2011 in recognition of the "Click it or Ticket" campaign.

Continue reading "Holiday weekends bring a heightened risk of car accidents in Gastonia, elsewhere in state" »

May 12, 2011

Costs of injuries in North Carolina motorcycle accidents add up, requiring help from experienced law firm


As part of Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in May, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and first gentleman Michael Haley attended a rally recently held at the grounds of the Statehouse, reports The State.

The event was in large part to highlight motorcycle safety and bikers' rights on roadways with lawmakers and bikers getting up to speak at the rally.
1111010_motorcycle_reflections.jpg
The month of May is traditionally one of the most dangerous for motorcycle accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere. Due to this fact, personal injury lawyers in Greensboro, Hickory, Asheville and elsewhere throughout the state are urging motorists and motorcyclists to share the roads in order to reduce injuries and fatalities this month and throughout the year.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System used by the U.S. Department of Transportation, North Carolina reported 155 motorcyclists fatalities in 2009. From 2005 through 2009, there were as many as 201 fatalities reported in 2007; with an average of over 165 motorcycle deaths per year over the 5-year period. South Carolina reported 108 motorcycle fatalities in 2009. The five year high for South Carolina motorcyclists fatalities was 131, also in 2007, during that same time period from 2005-2009.

There are a number of common injuries that can occur from motorcycle crashes. Broken bones are probably the most obvious. Brain injuries are another common motorcycle injury that can be fatal. Personality changes or loss of motor control can make brain injuries permanent and life altering. Organ injuries often need immediate surgery to remedy the damage found in the internal organ and can sometimes require a long recovery process following the accident. Road rash can be extremely painful and leave lasting scars.

Whether injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident are minimal or life-changing, the medical costs add up. Most victims require a trip to the emergency room at minimum and in many cases much more extensive care is needed. It is important to contact a law firm immediately to evaluate your damages and seek professional advice on how to proceed with a course of action.

Continue reading "Costs of injuries in North Carolina motorcycle accidents add up, requiring help from experienced law firm" »

May 10, 2011

Teen Safety Awareness Month aimed at reducing teen driving accidents in Hickory, Asheville


The Garner Citizen reports that the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) and Allstate Foundation are teaming up to recognize youth safety and teen driving during National Youth Traffic Safety Month. Chapters throughout the state are advocating and initiating youth programs during the month of May in order to reduce teen car accidents in North Carolina.
418834_angie__1.jpg
SAVE is an organization of teens that focuses on positive peer pressure which influences peers to make smart choices. Members often take a lead role in their schools and communities in creating positive energy and commitment to activities to promote teen safe driving and youth safety. These teens are well aware that car crashes are the leading cause of death among young people. Car accident attorneys in Hickory, Asheville, and Greensboro know that this is a dangerous time of year for a young driver with events like prom and graduation taking place; building awareness can only help to reduce the risks of an accident.

In recognition of National Youth Traffic Safety Month, National Organizations for Youth Safety are promoting a number of programs and contests to get teens involved in making smart choices and practicing safe driving.

-Act Out Loud Contest: Over 200 teams have applied in local communities to create a video about the dangers of distracted driving. Local youth safety organizations can win up to $10,000 for the winning video and an opportunity to create and implement prevention projects about distracted driving.

-Youth-Turn It Around Awards: This program awards up to $5,000 for taking an adverse traffic situation in a teen's community and making it an educational learning experience for other teens that may prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. The winner will receive a cash reward for the organization of their choice.

-Above the Influence Poster Contest: A contest directed at teens expressing themselves artistically in a poster about not giving in to drugs and alcohol. Contestants were encouraged to be creative and expressive about the dangers of drugs and alcohol among teens today.

-NOYS Traffic Safety Leaders College Scholarship: Teens interested in going to college to major in a traffic safety degree are urged to apply for this Traffic Safety Leaders Scholarship sponsored by The National Organizations for Youth Safety and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High school juniors and seniors planning to attend college can apply for the scholarship if they intend to continue their advocacy for traffic safety. Three scholarships will be awarded upon peer review of applications.

Continue reading "Teen Safety Awareness Month aimed at reducing teen driving accidents in Hickory, Asheville" »

May 8, 2011

Motorists support worldwide effort to reduce traffic fatalities in North Carolina, throughout the country


Improving highway safety seems to be on the minds of everyone these days, according to a recent survey published by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The government's initiative to reduce car accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere in the country has gained the attention of many motorists who use our roadways.
160282_junk_yard_5.jpg
Car accident attorneys in Statesville, Winston-Salem and Greensboro know that getting drunk and distracted drivers off the roadways improves safety but there still remains much to be done by state and federal governments to reduce the number of fatalities each year on American roadways. The launch of 'Decade of Action for Road Safety' campaign has gone global in the fight against deaths on roadways. Regrettably, campaigns don't really help victims or their families with the financial hardships faced after suffering a severe or fatal injury -- so seeking professional advice is an important step to maintaining financial stability throughout the recovery process.

We first mentioned the international campaign last month on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog. The Safe Systems Approach over the next 10 years aims to improve vehicle safety, build safer roadways, change unfavorable driving behaviors, and improve the emergency care given following a crash.

"At a time when more and more U.S. highway safety agencies are adopting "Toward Zero Death" goals, it is very heartening to see motorist support for more, not less action by government to make our roads safer," said J. Peter Kissinger, President of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, that commissioned this survey.

The AAA Foundation reports the following responses from American motorists on the survey:

-70 percent agree that stricter driving safety laws should be imposed.

-41 percent agree that the federal government should make cars safer, 60 percent feel automakers have the responsibility to enhance car safety.

-86 percent agree that a driver education course should be completed prior to licensing for all new drivers.

-57 percent agree that state government legislatures should be more active in making roadways safer in respective states.

-62 percent agree that our country needs more laws to curb bad driving behaviors.
It is projected that by 2020, there will be almost 2 million traffic fatalities throughout the entire world in a calendar year. The universal goal is to put monetary resources towards education, road design, technology, and laws in order to reduce traffic fatalities worldwide.

May 11th, 2011 marks the official launch of 'Decade of Action for Road Safety' with an event hosted in Washington, D.C. Over 50 countries and 30 U.S. states will show support of the global campaign by wearing the trademark symbol, the yellow tag, in recognition of a worldwide effort to make roadways safer.

For more information about the event, click here to view.

Continue reading " Motorists support worldwide effort to reduce traffic fatalities in North Carolina, throughout the country" »

May 5, 2011

Cell Phones Common Cause of North Carolina Car Accidents


We post frequently on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog about the dangers teen drivers face on roadways, as well as programs, contests and incentives offered by organizations in order increase teen awareness about distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence.

Teens are at a high risk of car accidents in North Carolina -- especially during the upcoming prom and graduation season.
418834_angie__1.jpg
Charlotte injury lawyers are the first to applaud organizations who host events and contests because awareness is the first step in curbing the bad behavior. Teens who learn about the risks involved, and who see first-hand what can happen, tend to talk to other teens.

Peer pressure can have a positive effect in reducing the number of teens practicing bad behaviors when they are behind the wheel.

The National Safety Council and safety advocate group FocusDriven recently teamed up to promote the "On the Road, Off the Phone" public service announcement contest for teens and adults throughout the United States. The contest, sponsored by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., encouraged wannabe filmmakers to make a short video about the dangers of talking on a cell phone while driving.

The winners of the contest have been announced. First place went to a young driver from Tennessee with a video called "Your Phone Can Wait". Her video won because it illustrated cognitive distraction and inattention blindness accurately, two concepts that are not easily portrayed.

A father-son duo from Illinois were awarded second place for their video "You Wouldn't..." which illustrates the things you shouldn't do while driving like eating, grooming, and answering your cell phone. Third place was awarded for the video created by a company in Virginia. The video called "Please Don't" illustrates a mom talking on her hands-free headset, who then must deal with the aftermath of a crash that killed her daughter.

Monetary prizes of $2,000, $1,000, and $500 were awarded to first, second and third place finishers respectively. The videos can be viewed at nsc.org/PSAcontest.

The two non-profit groups have made a valiant effort recently in advocating against cell phone use and distracted driving. Together they worked in launching the first ever distracted driving awareness month during April as we recently posted on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog.

Cell phones continue to be the highest form of distraction while driving causing a high percentage of crashes on our North Carolina roadways. Turn off your phone while you drive or it could be the last conversation you ever have.

Continue reading "Cell Phones Common Cause of North Carolina Car Accidents" »

May 3, 2011

North Carolina car accidents are often weather or road surface-related


Winston-Salem car accident lawyers know that spring weather can be deadly when causing flooding on roadways so motorists should be extra careful when traveling during a torrential storm or during the aftermath of a storm severe enough to cause fallen trees or flooding.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports about a recent fatal accident that killed five people in Croatan National Forest. The family was headed to church when their vehicle veered into the swamp canal. Some are wondering if the severe storms passing through most of the state recently played a role in causing the car accident in North Carolina.
569818_tormenta_tropical.jpg
USA Today reports the two infants who died in the crash were found still strapped in their car seats when the vehicle was recovered from the canal. The mother, her fiancé' and another child were also killed in the crash.

North Carolina has recently experienced a vast number of storms, which can be a hazard to motorists on roadways. In 2009, roadway surface conditions were the cause of over 1,200 motor vehicle crashes in North Carolina, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System used by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Wet roads and standing or moving water conditions caused almost 200 crashes in the state in 2009. Wet surfaces and standing water make driving difficult because you can lose control of the vehicle and skid when trying to stop too quickly.

Hydroplaning, which causes the car to lift from the surface, is another serious fear for drivers in wet road conditions.

Croatan National Forest consists of swamps, salt water bays and pine forests which cover approximately 160,000 acres according to the Associated Press. Officials from Craven County had been in the area investigating the storm damage a few hours before the recent tragic crash. It is reported that several deaths have occurred from cars running off the stretch of road that runs along the canal.

If you are desperate to get somewhere in torrential storms or flood-like conditions, be advised of a few safety tips:

-Slow down. Wet surfaces make it difficult to control your vehicle so reducing speed can make conditions more manageable.

-Watch for debris in the roadway or downed electrical lines.

-Make sure your headlights are on in poor visibility conditions.

-If taking a different route or postponing your travel is an option, make alternative arrangements.

Continue reading "North Carolina car accidents are often weather or road surface-related" »

May 1, 2011

Spring weather brings a high risk for motorcycle accidents in Anderson, Greenville


Two motorcyclists died in separate crashes over Easter weekend in what appears to be one of the deadliest days for motor vehicle crashes in recent history for Horry County, reports The Sun News. The final topic in our three-part spring safe driving series is the dangers and high risk of motorcycle accidents in the Carolinas this time of year.

785735_traffic_lights_at_sunset_1.jpg
In the first crash the motorcyclist was traveling at a high rate of speed before losing control when going around a slight bend. He was thrown from the bike. The second motorcycle crash involved a driver riding with his family when he suddenly lost control of the motorcycle and hit the median. He was wearing a helmet but died from chest trauma shortly after arriving at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

Personal injury lawyers in Anderson and elsewhere throughout the state see a growing number of cases involving motorcyclists who don't wear a helmet. These accidents often lead to severe head trauma, paralysis, internal injuries and sometimes fatality at the scene of the accident. No amount of experience or training that you have riding a motorcycle can prevent you from being in a crash with an inattentive driver.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 108 motorcyclist fatalities in South Carolina in 2009. From 2005 to 2009 in South Carolina, over 115 motorcyclists died each year on average; a high percentage of these deaths are motorcyclists who were unhelmeted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that South Carolina law only requires those riders ages 20 and under to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle or low-power cycle.

Motorists who want to avoid a crash with a motorcycle are reminded of the following safety tips:

-Look over your shoulder when making turns or changing lanes. Motorcycles often travel in your blind spots and are difficult to see so turning your head is the only way to assure it is safe to change positions on the road.

-Never rely on sound to determine the location of a motorcycle. The loud engine is deceiving and most motorcycles that you hear are already in front of you since their engine or tailpipe leads to the back of the bike.

-Don't assume that motorcyclists always travel in groups even though this is common with bike enthusiasts or motorcycle organizations. Many motorists rely on a motorcycle to commute to and from work so they ride solo.

Motorcyclists can reduce the chance of severe head trauma or brain injury by always wearing a helmet. Conducting routine safety checks on your bike, maintaining safe travel speeds, and refraining from aggressive driving can also reduce the risk of serious or fatal injuries when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle.

Continue reading "Spring weather brings a high risk for motorcycle accidents in Anderson, Greenville" »