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Pee Dee Personal Injury Law Blog

National and state statistics related to drunk driving are alarming

During 2012 alone, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that 358 people in South Carolina lost their lives in drunk driving-related traffic accidents. During this year, this number represented 41 percent of all traffic accident fatalities in the state. During this same year, the Centers for Disease control and Prevention reports that nationally 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents.

Based upon these alarming statistics, it's obvious that far too many people throughout South Carolina and the U.S. are choosing to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle when they shouldn't. While the legal blood alcohol concentration limit in most states is .08 percent, even a BAC of .02 results in an individual's ability to see clearly, track movement and multitask being markedly impaired.

1 man dead following car accident in South Carolina

An out-of-state man is dead following a serious car crash in Batesburg-Leesville, according to local sources. South Carolina authorities responded to the car accident around 5 a.m. on Nov. 27. The man has been identified as a 77-year-old visitor to the state. Charges have yet to be filed in association with this tragedy. 

Official reports indicate the man was a passenger in a van traveling east on Interstate 20 at the time of the accident. A truck headed the same direction apparently struck the van. All passengers in the van, including the driver, were taken to local hospitals for a variety of injuries. The 77-year-old man was the only one who succumbed to his injuries; he was pronounced dead later that day. 

1 dead, 2 injured following South Carolina car accident

A serious accident near Pamplico Highway on Nov. 23 has resulted in one fatality, according to local law enforcement. South Carolina authorities are also reporting that two other individuals were seriously injured in the car accident. So far, no charges have been filed, but the investigation is ongoing. 

According to current reports, an SUV driven by a 22-year-old local man was traveling north when the driver appeared to lose control of his vehicle. He ran off the right side of the road and attempted to over-correct. This took his vehicle into the opposing lane, where it struck a pickup truck headed in the other direction. 

This Thanksgiving, South Carolina drivers reminded not to drink and drive

Next week, people across South Carolina will gather with family members and friends to eat, drink and give thanks. While the many traditions that accompany the annual Thanksgiving holiday may warm our hearts, state residents are reminded to be smart and safe when it comes to drinking and driving.

During 2012, South Carolina ranked seventh in the nation for the highest number of drunk driving-related fatalities. With the approaching holiday season, the non-profit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving is commemorating its 28th annual campaign, Tie One On for Safety.

No one plans to be invovled in a car accident

Many residents in South Carolina drive on a daily basis. For some, the act of driving becomes routine and drivers who commuting to work may essentially go into autopilot mode. In many cases, it isn't until a driver encounters a potentially dangerous situation that he or she realizes the many dangers associated with driving.

At any moment, a driver and his or her passengers could be involved in a car accident. While this fact isn't one that most drivers spend much time thinking about one a daily basis, it's one that likely resonates for the families of the 548 people who, as of September, had been killed in traffic accidents throughout the state this year.

Are you addicted to your cellphone?

While at work, at the gym, walking down the street or eating in a restaurant; nearly everywhere you go these days you're bound to see people talking and texting on their cellphones. Indeed, cellphones and their usage have permeated the lives of U.S. residents. According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 90 percent of U.S. adults have a cellphone and nearly 60 percent have smart phones.

People love their cellphones and many rely upon these expensive gadgets for their entertainment, information and communication needs. An April 2012 report from the Pew Research Center showed that 67 percent of cellphone users routinely checked their phones for messages or alerts and nearly 30 percent indicated they couldn't imagine living without their cellphones.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the wake of a fatal drunk driving accident

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, during 2012 alone, more than 10,300 people in the U.S. were killed in drunk driving-related motor vehicle accidents. For the surviving family members of individuals killed in fatal drunk driving accidents, their extreme grief is often accompanied by a strong desire to prevent other families from suffering a similar tragic loss.

In the wake of a fatal drunk driving car accident, a thorough investigation will be conducted. The driver who chose to drive while under the influence of alcohol will face serious criminal charges. Family members of an individual who is killed due to the negligent acts of a drunk driver may also choose to pursue legal action and file a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

Are in-vehicle voice-activated systems the solutions to distracted driving?

Today, for many people in the U.S., technology permeates nearly every aspect of life. This is especially the case when it comes to how people find information and communicate with one another. The prolific use of personal computers, cellphones and tablets has forever changed how people find and share information and ideas and, for many, the use of these types of devices to complete a variety of daily tasks has become second-nature.

However, mobile devices like cellphones and personal tablets can be highly distracting when used by a driver who is attempting to compose a text message or look up a phone number. In fact, texting while driving has been deemed so dangerous and distracting that 44 states now have anti-texting laws.

When can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed?

In the wake of a loved one's death, family members are likely to feel great sadness. These feelings of sadness are often intensified and accompanied by others including anger and grief when a loved one's death is sudden and the result of a motor vehicle accident. In cases where a loved one is killed in an accident caused by another driver's negligent actions, surviving family members may choose to take legal action.

Family members may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit in cases where a loved one was killed by a drunk driver, a driver who was speeding or a driver who ran a red light. Compensation sought in a wrongful death lawsuit chiefly relates to the financial losses suffered by surviving family members.

The dangers of aggressive driving

Many South Carolina drivers have likely witnessed or perhaps even engaged in a driving behavior that would be classified as being aggressive in nature. While most drivers would likely cite driving behaviors such as running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign and drunk driving as being extremely dangerous in nature; many fail to acknowledge that speeding, tailgating and failing to signal are also dangerous driving behaviors that frequently contribute to car accidents.

While certain driving behaviors that are classified as being aggressive in nature may be perceived as being more dangerous, approximately one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities involve a driver who was speeding. Yet, despite the dangers associated with speeding, the behavior is widely accepted and practiced by drivers throughout the U.S.