The Maguire Law Firm
Contact Us Today – We Can Help You!
843-321-4056 | 800-576-6640 Request a meeting

Pee Dee Personal Injury Law Blog

The very basics of South Carolina boating safety

In last week's post, we discussed how South Carolina stacks up in terms of boating safety -- a mixed bag of good and bad. So, what issues contribute to boating accidents? Alcohol does, of course, and everyone agrees that it's safest to wear a life jacket, even on larger boats where it's not technically required. Also, we should keep overloaded boats and pilot error in mind.

The core issue may simply be that some boaters just don't treat an afternoon out on the boat as seriously as they should. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources provides a list of tips on how to boat more safely -- starting well before your hull hits the water. Here are a few of the top tips:

Do you really know what your teen driver is doing behind the wheel?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, more U.S. teens die from involvement in motor vehicle accidents than from any other cause. For teen drivers, inexperience is a major factor and can result in a teen making unwise and dangerous decisions while driving.

Researchers from Oregon State University recently conducted a study in which they aimed to identify causes of distracted driving among teen drivers and also gauge teens' perceptions about these dangers. While researchers likely expected teens to own up to engaging in distracting behaviors like talking to back seat passengers, tuning the radio and texting; their research yielded some interesting results.

Dangers of drunk driving magnified during St. Patrick's Day celebrations

This weekend thousands of Myrtle Beach residents will celebrate St. Patrick's Day and many more will take part in Irish-themed festivities on Tuesday. When it comes to St. Patrick's Day, everyone becomes Irish and dons their best green attire. For many people who commemorate the holiday, alcohol plays a major role in their celebration.

By now, everyone knows not to drink to and drive. It's illegal to operate a motor vehicle after drinking and individuals who choose to do so many not only face DUI charges, but could also potentially cause or be involved in a motor vehicle accident in which others are injured or killed. Holidays, like St. Patrick's Day, during which alcohol plays a major role, pose special dangers for South Carolina drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Car accidents spike Monday after daylight saving time

As residents across South Carolina prepare to turn their clocks ahead for daylight saving time, many will likely lament losing an hour of precious sleep. While one missed hour of sleep may seem insignificant, research and statistics prove that such disturbances in one's sleep pattern can adversely impact an individual’s ability to process information, focus and stay awake.

According to a survey by the Better Sleep Council, more than 60 percent of U.S. residents reported feeling the ill-effects of DST. One place people seem to especially notice the loss of sleep is when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. According to the Fatal Accident Reporting System, fatal crashes spike 17 percent the Monday following DST. What's more, the lingering effects of DST-induced drowsiness may last for days after the time change.

Car accidents and the resulting financial and personal losses

In a recent blog post, we discussed steps individuals who are involved in a car accident should take. Some of these tips are meant to help individuals prove another driver's negligence and can greatly benefit an individual who plans to take legal action.

For example, when interacting with other involved parties at the accident scene, it's important not to say or do anything that may implicate one as being at fault. Additionally, it's important to obtain a copy of the police accident report which provides details about the cause of the accident and includes records of any resulting citations.

Tips for motorcyclists on how to avoid becoming a statistic

Individuals who own and ride motorcycles often speak about the thrill they experience upon hitting the open road and feeling the wind against one's body. Motorcycles are more popular than ever and while many may consider riding a motorcycle as a fun way to travel and take in the landscape, it is also inherently dangerous.

During 2010 alone, more than 4,500 people in the U.S. were killed in motorcycle accidents. With no airbags, steel frames or seat belts; if involved in a crash, a motorcyclist's body is often the first point of contact. The resulting injuries are almost always serious in nature an often result in an individual suffering debilitating or fatal injuries.

Older drivers and the importance of self-regulation

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the U.S. baby boomer generation currently totals about 76 million men and women. As individuals born between 1946 and 1964 continue to retire and age, a significant percentage will likely experience some degree of decreased physical and/or cognitive functioning.

Aging is a part of life and, when it comes to driving, impairments related to one's vision, reaction time and ability to process information quickly can result in a driver making errors and causing or being involved in a car accident. Thankfully, there are steps older drivers can take to avoid being in a car accident and 2013 statistics show that, during the last 18 years, the motor vehicle fatality rate for drivers age 70 and older has decreased by 30 percent.

Involved in a car accident? Follow these steps

Imagine you're driving down a familiar street enroute to work when you approach an intersection. The traffic light is green so you don't slow as you approach and plan to continue through the intersection. While doing so, you notice a car quickly approaching from the right. That's the last thing you remember before the car crashes into the right side of your vehicle and the airbags deploy.

Anyone who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident can attest to the feelings of fear and disorientation that follow. While it's normal to feel bewildered and dazed, it's important that a driver take steps in the wake of an accident to ensure that, if necessary, he or she is able to take legal action.

Think it's safe to talk on a cellphone an drive? Think again

We've likely all been in a situation where, in some capacity, we overestimate our abilities. Whether it is mentally or physically, realizing that we really aren't a genus or in as good of shape as we thought can be a blow to one's ego. Driving is another task at which many people overestimate their abilities. This is particularly true when it comes to engaging in dangerous driving behaviors like speeding and also behaviors that have been proven to be highly distracting, like using a cellphone while driving.

South Carolina is among the 44 states in the U.S. to have some sort of ban on texting while driving. In South Carolina, the texting ban is a primary offense meaning a police officer who sees a driver texting doesn't need any other reason to pull the driver over and write a citation.

Study: driving under the influence too common for younger drivers

A new study has come to light that shows that many teens and younger drivers that are involved in a fatal crash are under the influence of marijuana or alcohol. And by "many" we mean "the majority."

It may seem impossible, but it's true according to the study. Researchers looked at fatal crashes that involved teen drivers and younger drivers in states where toxicology reporting was common. The combined number of teens who were under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or both exceeded 50 percent (50.3 percent to be exact). 36.8 percent of these drivers were under the influence of only alcohol; 5.9 percent were under the influence of marijuana; and 7.6 percent used a combination of the two substances.