February 2012 Archives

February 25, 2012

Charlotte Car Accidents Claim More Teen Lives


For the first time in eight years, teen deaths are increasing as a result of car accidents in Charlotte and elsewhere in the country.

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It's common knowledge that teens are at particular risk of injury or fatality behind the wheel. They tend to be more vulnerable than other age groups, simply due to their lack of experience. They also are generally more apt to take risks than older drivers, and to have a weaker grasp of the consequences of reckless driving behavior.

So the results of the Governors Highway Safety Association's recent study aren't necessarily surprising to our Charlotte car accident attorneys. Still, the statistics are disheartening.

It basically breaks down like this:

--The number of teen drivers killed on U.S. roadways in the first six months of 2011 had increased by 11 percent when compared to the year before.

--The younger the driver, the higher the chance for serious injury or death. For 17-year-old drivers, the number of fatalities rose by 7 percent. For drivers who were 16-years-old, there was a 16 percent increase in the number of deaths.

--These figures stand out in a year that showed an overall decrease in traffic fatalities, albeit a marginal dip of 0.9 percent.

--The fact that teen drivers were dying at a faster clip last year marks the end of an 8-year downward trend.

Researchers believe there could be a number of reasons for this increase. One involves the waning novelty of the graduated driver's license programs and the other, surprisingly, has to do with the economy.

First, the latter, as explained by Dr. Alan Williams of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: His conjecture is that the economy is at least partially to blame for the rising number of teen deaths. With many parents forced to work longer hours, their teens may be placed in a position to either shuttle around younger siblings or take themselves to their own destinations more frequently than before. More teens on the road means there will be more car accidents, and in turn, more fatalities.

The second factor Williams mentioned was the graduated driver's license programs. For many states, dramatic strides were seen in the months and years after these regulations were implemented. That's because the laws set forth guidelines that prohibited teens from driving at certain hours or restricted the number of teen passengers they were allowed to have. In North Carolina, for example, drivers under the age of 21 can have no more than one teen passenger in the car with them, and those who are 16 can't drive between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. But Williams said we are starting to see a tapering off of the benefits we saw immediately after these programs were put in place.

In order to halt this upward trend, researchers and advocates are recommending that we further strengthen the GDL laws, as well as provide tools for parents to open the discussion with their teens about driving dangers.

Continue reading "Charlotte Car Accidents Claim More Teen Lives" »

February 22, 2012

Rock Hill Car Accidents During Spring Break Prevented When Parents Discuss Alcohol Dangers


As we approach the months of March and April, students will be counting down the days to spring break! What many of these teenagers and young adults are overlooking are their risks for alcohol-related car accidents in Rock Hill and elsewhere. In 2009, about a third of all drivers between the ages of 15-and 20-years-old who were killed in a car accident had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 of higher. During the same year, about 30 percent of these teen drivers who were killed in traffic collisions had a BAC of .08 or higher. The legal BAC in the country is .08 - but that's only for those who are over the age of 21. If you are under 21, your BAC better be 0.00. And yet, thousands of teens are killed in these types of accidents every year.
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According to The Wall Street Journal, costs resulting from hospitalizations for teenagers involved in underage drinking totaled more than $750 million in 2008. These costs covered the 39,620 minors who were admitted into the hospital for alcohol-related problems. While alcohol-related car accidents are more likely to happen on the weekend and during the evening, spring break is a whole different story. Some of the highest risks for alcohol-related accidents involving these young drivers are during that week off of school.

Our Rock Hill teen car accident attorneys ask that parents talk with their teens before spring break. While these young drivers aren't legally allowed to consume alcohol, it doesn't mean that they won't. Sadly enough, teens can get their hands on alcohol quite easily and many plan to binge drink over the break. As a matter of fact, the average age for underage drinkers who are hospitalized is 18. Of those who wound up in the hospital, about 60 percent were men. Don't think your little girl is safe though, because researchers say that cultural shifts suggest that females are more frequently getting themselves in trouble with alcohol-related problems as well.

Underage drinkers accounted for about 20 percent of the drivers who were involved in fatal alcohol-related accidents in the U.S. in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Dr. Michele Borba, an internationally-recognized author, speaker, and educator on parenting, bullying prevention and character education, is here to help kick off the conversation between you and your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Tips to Help Prevent Teenage Drinking:

-Be a good role model. Drink in moderation, if any at all, around your teen.

-Start early and keep talking. Talk to them before they get their driver's license and continue the talk long after. Reinforcement helps to keep the subject fresh in their minds.

-Don't make the booze available. Count the liquor bottles and lock them up in your home. Talk to older, of-age siblings about saying no, too!

-Stay strong when monitoring their whereabouts.

-Practice comebacks. Prepare your teen for peer pressure and teach them how to effectively fight against alcohol offerings.

-Come up with a secret code so that teens can contact you for help.

-Team up with the parents of your teen's friends.

Continue reading "Rock Hill Car Accidents During Spring Break Prevented When Parents Discuss Alcohol Dangers " »

February 20, 2012

Charlotte Car Accidents Halted by New Technology?


Cars have become pretty high-tech.

Now it seems like soon, we're not even going to need a person to drive the car!

Researchers are developing "driverless cars." The "driverless car" systems that are being tested are the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems. These will enable vehicles to talk to one another to avoid car accidents in Charlotte and elsewhere. These cars will be able to detect other cars, street lights, traffic signs and road hazards.
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According to CNN Money, Consumer Reports magazine recently announced its support for the V2V technology. The magazine purports that this kind of technology has the ability to save thousands of lives on our roadways every year.

Our Charlotte car accident attorneys recognize that this kind of technology is on the fast track to reality. Vehicles nowadays are equipped with more and more technologies that have no need for driver interference. There are a number of new warning systems that alert drivers about potential problems before they have the chance to see them. Some of these cars even react to these problems if the driver doesn't. As these technologies make their way into our vehicles little by little, we feel it's important to point out that technology can be flawed and there is nothing better than safe and cautious driving habits. We continuously preach to residents to exercise safer driving habits. It may be more important now than ever. Drivers should not leave the responsibility of driving to the computers in their vehicles.

We already have a ton of safety technologies in cars nowadays. Just think about it. There is autonomous steering installed in some Infinity vehicles, which allows the car to recognize drifting movements and can nudge your car back into the center of the road. We have pedestrian detection devices on a number of cars that checks for walkers even when you're not. These cars can slam on the brakes if a pedestrian is detected in your pathway.

There are a number of vehicles, especially SUVs that come equipped with electronic stability control, which is a technology that helps drivers to stop their vehicle from skidding during abrupt maneuvers. There are even some cars that have technologies that will slam on the brakes for you if it senses that the vehicle is about to experience a collision.

As these technologies sneak into cars one at a time, it's only a matter of time before we're riding in completely "driverless cars." With the technology being used to design the V2V cars, vehicles will talk to other cars and identify dangers along our roadways to avoid collisions. Automakers have been working on this technology for years now. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is ruling next year on moving forward with research into the technology.

Some experts believe that this kind of technology could help to reduce the risks of car accidents by as much as 80 percent.

Continue reading "Charlotte Car Accidents Halted by New Technology?" »

February 17, 2012

Union County Car Accident Kills 1 Teen, Injures 4


One young driver was killed and four young passengers were seriously injured in a recent car accident in Union County. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the teen's pickup truck rolled a number of times while traveling along Monroe-Weddington Road in the evening hours. Troopers report that one teenager died at the scene of the accident after he was ejected from the vehicle and crushed. The truck was upside down when it finally came to rest.
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All five of the vehicle's occupants were from Weddington High School, according to WSOCTV. The driver and two of the passengers were not wearing seat belts when the accident happened. Troopers are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Teenagers are some of the most vulnerable drivers on our roadways. Their inexperience behind the wheel greatly increases their risks for a serious accident. Our North Carolina car accidents attorneys are the parents of driving teens and we understand the stress this can cause. Luckily, there are ways to help shape these young motorists into safe and cautious drivers. Teaching them safe driving habits early on will help to equip them with a lifetime of safe habits.

According to the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, car accidents are the number one cause of death among teens in the state. It's estimated that a teen in North Carolina is involved in a traffic accident every 23.6 minutes.

Even after months of supervised driving practice, teens who receive their unrestricted driver's license face a high risk of serious traffic accidents. These risks can be the result of poor judgment, inexperience, dangerous driving conditions or other factors that a more seasoned driver would be better-equipped to handle.

Although parents may no longer be required to ride along with these teens, there are still things they can do to help protect their teen. Consider enacting a parent-teen driving contract. This single document can help to make sure that your teen driver understands the dangers of the road, ways to avoid these dangers and the consequences of unsafe driving habits.

Safe Driving Tips for Teenagers:

-Insist that they always wear a seat belt, regardless of how short the trip may be.

-Reiterate the importance of sober driving.

-Make sure they understand the importance of abiding by posted speed limits.

-Curb all distractions, including phones, text messaging devices, eating, drinking and talking with passengers.

-Be careful at intersections. Never assume other vehicles are going to stop.

-Be on the lookout for deer and other animals.

-Never get behind the wheel if you're feeling sleepy, especially when taking a long trip.

-Use your head. Don't rely on your car's mirrors. Always turn to check blind spots before making maneuvers in traffic.

-Always use your turn signals.

-Never tailgate.

-Drive defensively and be courteous.

Continue reading "Union County Car Accident Kills 1 Teen, Injures 4" »

February 14, 2012

Greenville Car Accidents Reduced by AARP Safe Driving Course


It's something most people joke about, but the truth of the matter is that it's a serious concern -- elderly drivers. With age come serious risks for car accidents in Greenville and elsewhere. Thankfully, AARP is here to offer drivers with a Driver Safety Course. The course not only helps to raise driver's awareness behind the wheel, but it can help them to land a discount on their auto insurance policy.
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The AARP Driver Safety Course is offered in 35 states. South Carolina is one of those states. Although the targeted audience of this course is elderly drivers, drivers of all ages are invited to join. Our South Carolina car accident attorneys invite you to sign up and attend one of the three AARP Driver Safety Courses in Greenville. There are other courses available throughout South Carolina, too.

You may be asking yourself -- Why do I need to take a driver safety course? I know how to drive! Well, the truth of the matter is that cars are changing as well as the roads we frequently travel, driving conditions and traffic rules. Although elderly drivers may be some of our most experienced drivers, it's still important to brush up on driving skills periodically to help ensure roadway safety.

Enrolling in one of these classes can help you to learn about new road rules, more advanced driving techniques and how to operate the new-age technologies of newer vehicles. Elderly drivers will also be taught how to deal with age-related changes in reaction abilities, hearing and vision problems.

What else can I learn from a driving course?

-How to minimize the dangers that accompany blind spots.

-How to maintain a proper following distance from other vehicles.

-How to safely change lanes.

-How to correctly use a seat belt, anti-lock brakes, air bags and other new-car technologies.

-How to effectively keep an eye on your driving skills and capabilities as you age.

-To learn about the effects that your medications can have on your ability to drive safely.

-The effects that distractions can have on your driving. Distractions including smoking, eating, and talking on your phone or to passengers.

-How to recognize deteriorating driving abilities in your loved ones and effective ways to approach this subject with them.

Once you finish the safe driving course, experts say that you will form a better appreciation for the challenges of driving and you'll learn the most effective ways to prevent traffic accidents.

The safe driving course is available in a classroom setting or online. All classes cost less than $20 and can save you money on your insurance policy, not to mention help to save your life on our roadways.

Continue reading "Greenville Car Accidents Reduced by AARP Safe Driving Course" »

February 12, 2012

Motorcyclist Killed by Drunk Driver in Chesnee -- Driver Sentenced to 15 Years


Back in August, a drunk driving car accident in Chesnee on Highway 221 took the life of an innocent, 51-year-old man. The drunk driver charged with the crime, a 22-year-old from Forest City, was recently sentenced to 15 years behind bars. According to News Channel 7, the man admitted to striking the man while he was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. The guilty driver was charged with driving under the influence resulting in death. He is now required to serve at least 12 years of that sentence before he is eligible for release.
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The August accident happened as the victim was riding a motorcycle along Highway 221 with his turn signal activated. He was getting ready to turn into a parking lot. When he went to make the turn, the intoxicated driver rammed his pickup truck into the back of the motorcycle. The accident caused the motorcycle to get jammed into the bumper and the grill of the pickup. It was pushed for about 300 feet. The motorcyclist died at the scene of the accident.

Our South Carolina drunk driving car accident lawyers understand that the driver involved in the accident admitted to officers that he had taken a couple of shots of vodka, along with a couple of beers and had smoked some marijuana before the accident happened. He said he took the drugs at a party he attended earlier in the night. The young driver's blood test revealed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05.

"Mr. Robinson's irresponsible actions involve huge consequences," said Solicitor Barry Barnette.

This was not the intoxicated driver's first drug conviction either. Officials say he has a previous criminal record.

Meanwhile, the motorcyclist's autopsy returned no evidence of alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the accident.

In 2008, there were nearly 400 fatal car accidents in South Carolina involving a driver who was legally drunk, with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. In these accidents, 405 people were killed. The statistics don't end there. During the same year, there were another 60 people killed in traffic accidents involving a driver who was legally under the limit, but still under the influence of alcohol, meaning they had a BAC of 0.01 to 0.07.

Those who drink and drive in South Carolina are likely to really drink! Nearly 75 percent of the fatal drunk driving accidents that occurred in 2009 happened with a driver who had a BAC of .15 or higher. A majority of drunk drivers who were involved in fatal accidents during this year were in fact repeat offenders.

Motorists and other travelers are urged to be cautious while traveling along our roadways. Drunk driver take the lives of thousands of innocent people every year. Remain aware and cautious while traveling our roadways to help to reduce your risks of a fatal run in with one of these irresponsible drivers.

Continue reading "Motorcyclist Killed by Drunk Driver in Chesnee -- Driver Sentenced to 15 Years" »

February 10, 2012

Teens Must Log Driving Hours to Prevent Charlotte Car Accidents


A new law requiring teenage drivers in North Carolina to track their driving hours is part of an effort to decrease car accidents in Charlotte and throughout the rest of the state.

The basic concept is that having teens log their weekly hours spent behind the wheel will ensure they are getting enough experience on the road to prevent serious crashes.

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The legislation was passed last summer by the state's General Assembly, and took effect on Jan. 1. New drivers under the age of 18 who have a learner's permit must log 60 driving hours with the supervision of a parent or other experienced driver. At least 10 of those hours have to be at night.

Our North Carolina car accident lawyers believe this is an important step for young drivers, who can obtain a learner's permit as soon as they turn 15.

The new law prohibits teens from driving more than 10 hours a week, and they must turn in their verified driving log to the state's division of motor vehicles when they go to apply for a provisional driver's license, which places further restrictions on teen driving. With the provisional license, teens have to log 12 more driving hours, with six of those being at night.

The importance of this law is underscored by recent statistics released from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numerous studies indicate teen drivers are far more likely than older drivers to not fully grasp the risks they take in getting behind the wheel. In fact, they are four times more likely to be involved in a crash.

Teenage drivers are also far more likely to speed and not allow enough distance between their vehicle and the one ahead of them.

While males and females are both prone to distractions, male drivers and passengers are twice as likely as females to be killed in a car crash. They are 12.5 times more likely not to be wearing a seat belt, and with passengers in the car, the risk was amplified even more.

Teens were most at risk during their first year behind the wheel.

While statistics from last year weren't available, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reveals that in 2009, drivers who were 15 and younger were responsible for 693 accidents, which resulted in 266 serious injuries and four deaths. The following year, teen drivers accounted for 669 crashes, causing 253 injuries and four fatalities.

The details of the new North Carolina law were detailed in a recent article by the Winston-Salem Journal, which talked with a number of teens and parents regarding their feelings on the heightened restrictions.

Most teens, even though they found logging their hours to be somewhat tedious, understood the benefits. Parents were happy to have a heightened level of control on their teen's driving habits.

One mother was quoted as saying:

"Students need plenty of time to have to navigate the roads and learn the traffic laws. The law helps build confidence in her and others on the road."

Continue reading "Teens Must Log Driving Hours to Prevent Charlotte Car Accidents" »

February 9, 2012

Serious Car Accidents in Charlotte and Nearby Areas Close Roadways


According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, two of the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 had to be closed because of a fatal trucking accident in Charlotte. News Channel 36 reports that the roadway was closed at Exit 29, Sam Wilson Road.
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What happened, according to authorities, was that a box truck ran into the back of a tractor-trailer near the weigh station located at Exit 29. The accident killed one motorist. Commuters were advised to take Interstate 485 to Wilkinson Boulevard to avoid delays.

Our Charlotte car accident lawyers understand that wasn't the only Monday morning accident causing delays on our roadways. Another accident happened on East Independence and knocked down some power lines. The downed lines caused the roadways in both directions to be closed for several hours. That accident happened just before 2 a.m., where Independence crossed Sardis Road North. Officials reports the driver lost control of his vehicle and ran into a power pole. Traffic lights in the area were disabled. All lanes were expected to be open in about 6 hours.

Drivers are urged to be cautious when traveling along our roadways, regardless of the time of day. Risks for accidents are heightened in some scenarios. Accidents are more likely during morning and evening rush hours, as well as along Interstates that are packed with heavy, fast-traveling traffic. Drivers are asked to plan ahead to help prevent an accident during any of these times. Consider daily rush hours when setting out, and think about traveling at a different time of the day or taking a route less-traveled to avoid the dangers of heavy traffic. It's also a good idea to check out the traffic conditions in North Carolina before setting out. This will help you to avoid any serious backups.

North Carolina Traffic Accident Statistics, 2010:

-Nearly 1,000 people died.

-Nearly 90 of these fatalities were pedestrians.

-More than 10 of these fatalities were bicyclists.

-Nearly 130 of these fatalities were motorcyclists.

-In 2009, there was one more traffic accident fatality recorded than in 2010.

-The total number of car accidents increased by nearly 5 percent from 2009 to 2010.

-There were more than 1,381 car accidents reported in 2009.

-Experts believe that the number of police-reported car accidents is fairly insignificant in comparison to the number of car accidents that weren't reported.

-Drunk driving contributed to nearly 200 fatal car accidents.

-Drunk driving car accidents account for about 30 percent of all traffic accident fatalities.

Among all of the fatalities that resulted from motor-vehicle accidents, nearly 70 percent were because of roadway departures, about 20 percent were intersection-related and more than 10 percent involved a large truck.

Continue reading "Serious Car Accidents in Charlotte and Nearby Areas Close Roadways " »

February 7, 2012

Motorists to be Cautious near Interstate 40; Recent Rockslides Causing Car Accidents in North Carolina


According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Interstate 40 West from Exit 20 all the way to the Tennessee state line has been reopened, as of Feb. 5 at 2:30 a.m. That portion of the road was closed on Jan. 31 because of a rock slide accident at mile marker 451.
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Officials report that traffic is back to normal flow on Interstate 40 West through North Carolina, but travelers making their way into Tennessee will experience narrowed roadways near one of the accident sites. In the area, roadways have been reduced down to one lane. The NCDOT is asking all motorists to travel carefully through the entire area to help to reduce the risks of car accidents in North Carolina.

Our Charlotte car accident lawyers understand that a severe rock slide occurred on Feb. 3 at around noon on Interstate 40 West. This rock slide, near mile marker 7, left about 600 tons of rock on the roadway below. Some of the rocks were boulders the size of small cars. The NCDOT and the Tennessee Department of Transportation worked together to shut down, repair and reopen the portions of the road that experienced rock slides. Ameritech Slope Constructors Inc. of Asheville and crews with NCDOT worked together to get nearly 200 tons of loose rock away from the mountainside and safely hauled away. NCDOT says these efforts have made the area now safe for travel.

Motorists are urged to stay up-to-date with the latest travel information on the Interstate and elsewhere throughout the state. This information is available by calling 511. Not near a phone? Just visit the Department's website for important North Carolina travel information. On your smart phone? Just type "m.ncdot.gov" into the browser to be taken right to the Department's website.

The NCDOT offers a few safe driving tips to motorists to help to prevent an accident with a falling rock or another vehicle.

Safe Driving Tips:

-Stay alert. Focus on your entire surroundings.

-Always wear a seat belt. It has been proven in a number of studies that seat belts can significantly reduce your risks of injury and even death in the event of an accident.

-Never drink and drive. Alcohol impairment reduces your ability to react to roadway dangers.

-Make sure all passengers, especially children, are properly buckled in during each car ride.

-Never tailgate another vehicle. You need time and space to safely view your surroundings.

-Keep a lookout for debris that is already in the roadway, including rocks and boulders.

-Never drive while distracted.

-Check road conditions and closures before heading out.

Rock slides can happen at any time. Motorists are asked to be cautious and to keep their attention on the roadway and on the surroundings. Remember, roadways with mountainous side require your full attention and focus.

Continue reading "Motorists to be Cautious near Interstate 40; Recent Rockslides Causing Car Accidents in North Carolina" »

February 5, 2012

Single-Car Accident in Asheville Kills Passenger, Impairment and Speed Reported Factors


A passenger of a recent one-car accident in Asheville was killed. According to Asheville Police, the accident happened on I-240 East at the on-ramp leading to Interstate 40 East, just after 2 a.m.
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According to police records, the woman was driving when she swerved off of the roadway, up onto an embankment and flipped. The passenger of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver was transported to Mission Hospital and was listed in serious condition. Officers report that impairment and speed were factors in the crash. According to News Channel 7, officers are still investigating the accident and charges against the driver are pending.

Our Asheville car accident attorneys understand that the Interstate can be a dangerous place to travel, even when you're not speeding or impaired. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were nearly 11 million traffic accidents that happened on U.S. roadways in 2009. During that same year, there were more than 1,300 traffic-related fatalities in the state of North Carolina. An alarming number of these accidents and fatalities occurred on Interstate roads. Luckily, there are a few tips that you can follow to help to reduce your risks of an accident on the fast-paced roadways.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) offers the following safe driving tips:

-Always stay alert. Whether you're driving on an Interstate or a residential roadway, it's important for you to place all of your attention on driving.

-Be sure you always buckle up. A seat belt can help to reduce your risks of injury or death in the event of a traffic accident.

-Never drink and drive. You're reactions and ability to safely navigate our roadways is drastically hindered when you consume alcohol.

-Make sure your children are using the correct child restraints during every car ride.

-Be patient. Don't rush. Rushing leads to road rage, which leads to dangerous driving and accidents.

-Always abide by the posted speed limit and remember that these speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. When weather is poor, consider slowing down.

-Never tailgate the vehicle in front of you. The closer you're following another vehicle, the less time you have to react to danger.

-Keep a lookout for road debris. Always be ready to react.

-Avoid the distractions. Driving is not a time to make calls, text message or surf the web, nor is it the time to groom yourself, eat or partake in any other activities that take your attention off of the roadway.

-Always leave for your destination with plenty of time to spare. Avoid rushing. Try to travel at non-peak times.

-Consider using alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion.

-Check out the Traveler Information Management System before leaving to learn about any traffic congestion or any road closures.

Continue reading "Single-Car Accident in Asheville Kills Passenger, Impairment and Speed Reported Factors" »

February 3, 2012

Small Steps to Decrease Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Asheville, Nation


According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers in the state of North Carolina are not allowed to have more than one passenger under the age of 21 in the vehicle with them during the intermediate or restricted license stage. This is all a part of the comprehensive graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program we have in our state. Recent studies have proven that these types of restricted stages can help to reduce your teen driver's risks of car accident in Asheville and elsewhere.
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GDL programs aren't our only defense against these accidents. According to the most recent issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, parent involvement can be just as beneficial as these laws. Parents are urged to get involved with their teen's driving experience to stay on top on their habits to make them safer drivers.

Our Asheville teen car accident attorneys understand that teen drivers have some of the highest risks for car accidents out of any age group. These young drivers often underestimate the risks and dangers associated with driving. Parents are asked to stay involved in their teens' driving habits.as well as their where whereabouts when they're behind the wheel.

Studies, conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, concluded that the risk perception and the sensation-seeking risks behind the wheel are more likely when a teen is let loose on the roadway without active parental concern. The study used to determine these findings examined nearly 200 teens with and without parents' rule setting. It was determined that teen drivers who were regulated by parents drove safer and were less likely to engage in dangerous and illegal driving habits.

It was a whole different story once researchers started looking into the effects of young passengers in the vehicle with teenage drivers. Researchers analyzed more than 675 teen accident reports to see just how much having another teen in the car affects a young driver's crash risk. In about 20 percent of the accidents, female drivers were distracted before an accident. In about 25 percent of the accidents male drivers were distracted before an accident. The study found that young male drivers were more likely to perform illegal driving maneuvers when passengers were present in the car than when they were driving alone.

"Distraction from peer passengers appears to play a prominent role for both male and female drivers," said the lead author of the study, Allison E. Curry, Ph.D., MPH.

Young boy drivers were more likely to speed and drive recklessly when passengers were present. Girls were more likely to crash because of distractions that included looking at their passengers, making phone calls, text messaging and applying makeup while driving.

GDL programs vary from state to state. There are 48 states that regulate teens' nighttime driving. There are only 45 states that regulate a teens' number of passengers. Since the enactment of these laws, states have already seen a decrease in the number of teen car accidents.

Continue reading "Small Steps to Decrease Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Asheville, Nation" »

February 1, 2012

Troopers Searching for Drunk Drivers in South Carolina on Super Bowl Sunday


State Troopers in South Carolina will be on the lookout for alcohol-impaired drivers on Super Bowl Sunday. Historically, the first Sunday of every February has been one of the most dangerous times to be on our roadways. The number of car accidents in Spartanburg and elsewhere skyrocket during the unofficial U.S. holiday. Experts predict that nearly 350 million gallons of beer will be consumed by residents on Sunday alone. This is enough alcohol to fill about 50 Olympic-sized pools. With all the alcohol consumption comes dangerous roadways - but not if law enforcement officials can help it. This year's Super Bowl safe driving campaign is called "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk." This safety campaign urges fans of all teams to look after one another to make our roadways safer.
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"The chances of encountering a DUI driver go up significantly," said trooper Billy Elder. "South Carolina has a terrible problem with that."

Our Spartanburg drunk driving accident lawyers understand there are roughly 130 million people expected to gather in front of television on Sunday to watch the big game between the Giants and the Patriots. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 200,000 people have pledged to be designated drivers this season.

This is great news - but unless every designated driver is going to drive 650 people home, we don't have enough. We're hoping the rest of the Super Bowl fans who are drinking will be using taxis and public transportation to get home. We're also hoping that many fans will be staying at the homes of friends and family members or getting a hotel room. Whatever your plans are, we're hoping you won't get behind the wheel after drinking.

If you're throwing a Super Bowl party for your friends and family members this year, we have a few safety tips to offer you to help make sure that no one is going to drive after drinking.

If You're Throwing a Super Bowl Party on Sunday:

-Make sure when you invite your guests to the party that everyone is also informed to bring a designated driver.

-Make sure to have beverages (without alcohol) available for the designated drivers.

-Offer plenty of food to help those who are drinking.

-Keep an eye on alcohol consumption. Know when to cut someone off.

-Serve the booze in moderation.

-Stop serving any alcohol before the party ends. A good time to do this is an hour before the party is over.

-Make room for guests. There's a chance someone will be left without a designated driver. Make an area for guests who don't have a safe way home to crash at your place.

Super Bowl Sunday may be a joyous time for many American's, but it's a deadly time for many others. Let's all team up together to help to reduce the risks of fatal car accidents this weekend. Party responsibly!

Continue reading "Troopers Searching for Drunk Drivers in South Carolina on Super Bowl Sunday" »