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Pee Dee Personal Injury Law Blog

Understanding wrongful death of a mother

There are times when a mother dies during labor or pregnancy. This can be the direct result of malpractice by a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse. If this happens, surviving family members, such as a spouse, will be faced with difficult circumstances. In addition to grieving the death of a loved one, they must consider if filing a wrongful death lawsuit makes sense.

There are many elements associated with the wrongful death of a mother. In order to file a claim, the following elements must be proven:

94 percent of accidents caused by humans; 0 percent by Google cars

"In the six years of our project, we've been involved in 12 minor accidents during more than 1.8 million miles of autonomous and manual driving combined," Google wrote recently in its Self-Driving Car Project's monthly report. "Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident."

Although many of those 1.8 million miles were on test tracks, the numbers are still pretty impressive. Most people were expecting that robot-driven vehicles armed with collision-avoidance technology and schooled in every single potential traffic law would be excellent drivers. After all, they never suffer from distraction, and they never get drunk.

The many effects of alcohol on driving

Driving a motor vehicle can be dangerous when a person is sober. If you add alcohol into the equation, things can quickly take a turn for the worse.

In the state of South Carolina, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater. Even so, there are people who drink and drive, thinking they have the ability to do so.

Recreational boating accidents can cause injury, death

Many people never consider the fact that boating accidents are extremely serious. Just the same as a motor vehicle accident, it can cause serious injury or even death.

Some boat accidents only involve one vessel. These are often caused by a poor decision made by the operator. There are also situations in which a negligent party causes an accident.

SADD 'Prom Promise' anti-DUI events eye-opening for teen drivers

SADD has been busy helping teens prepare for prom this year. How? By showing them, in gruesome detail, what could happen to them in a drunk driving accident.

The anti-drunk driving group, originally called Students Against Driving Drunk, SADD has been sponsoring events nationwide in the weeks leading up to the big dance. The group has an extensive prom and graduation season campaign on its website, including the "Prom Promise," which urges teen couples to promise each other, in writing, not to drink on prom night.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month tips for non-riders

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. It's also Zombie Awareness Month and Scandinavian American Heritage Month, but greater awareness of motorcycles and motorcycle safety is likely to save more lives.

Motorcycles continue to gain popularity, but unfortunately, there are still far too many serious and fatal motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a traffic crash, a motorcyclist is 26 times more likely to die than the occupant of a passenger vehicle.

What if you held a safety recall but nobody bothered to come?

According to the vehicle-history report supplier Carfax, there were approximately 46 million cars on American roads last year that were subject to safety recalls but hadn't been fixed. Automakers had notified the owners, but the owners just didn't bother to do anything.

This is a growing problem in the U.S., just at the time when we're seemingly plagued with the faultiest consumer fleet of cars in history. Last year, more than 60 million cars were recalled for safety defects, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- almost double the previous record of 30.8 million in 2004. 

How long can a driver safely look away from the road?

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which led the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety to release the results of a recent study testing how accurate the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recommendations on driver attention might be. According to the Liberty Mutual, NHTSA recommends that drivers look away from the road for no more than two seconds at 70 mph. But is that really safe?

Consider this: At 70 mph, your car travels about 100 feet per second. So, during those two seconds you've glanced away, your car has gone about 200 feet -- or two-thirds of the length of a football field. Can you afford to look away that long?

Latest NHTSA study shows how much alcohol use increases crash risk

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just finished the largest-ever study documenting the risks associated with drunk or drugged driving. While the results on alcohol and driving weren't entirely surprising, there was an unexpected result in terms of marijuana's role in traffic accidents.

For the Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk study, researchers interviewed and tested some 9,000 drivers in Virginia Beach, Virginia, over the course of 20 months. More than 3,000 of those drivers had been in car accidents; the others constituted a control group of drivers who had not. The non-crash drivers were chosen because they happened to be driving through the same area at the same time of the day, on the same day of the week, and in the same direction of traffic as those who had been in crashes. All of the drivers were tested for alcohol and drugs, although marijuana was the only drug used commonly enough for the findings to be considered statistically significant.

NTSB issues new warning about instability of 15-passenger vans

The large vans that are popular with nonprofits and church groups are in the news again after a tragedy last week in Florida. According to reports, a group of 18 people were overloaded into a 2000 Dodge Ram Wagon last Monday, headed for a church trip. The 15-passenger van was driven by an experienced school bus driver with a good record. Unfortunately, as they traveled down a dark rural road, the driver apparently missed a stop sign at a T-intersection. Subsequently, the van plunged into a ravine. Eight people were killed, including the driver. Ten others were injured; four of them so seriously that they were still in the hospital as of Friday.

Unfortunately, accidents like this one are all-too-common. While specific data wasn't easily available for South Carolina, the problem is pretty serious nationwide. According to federal data, between 2004 and 2010 there were 521 people killed in accidents involving 15-passenger vans.