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Bodily Injury Lawyer TBI

Golf Cart Injuries on the Rise

Golf carts were invented in 1932 “to afford unwell, older, or handicapped golfers the ability to travel the course while simultaneously reducing the burden of carrying equipment and to speed progression of play.” (ScienceDirect.com)

Today, golf carts are a popular mode of transportation off the golf course as well, especially in retirement communities, beach communities, college campuses and residential neighborhoods.

Due to the increased use of golf carts, their increased power and speed, their design and little regulation, golf cart-related injuries have increased over the last fourteen years. “The zippy means of transportation – no longer limited to golf courses – carries “considerable risk of injury and morbidity” to drivers and passengers of all ages…” (SafetyandHealthMagazine.com)

In a National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NIESS) study, spanning the years 2007 to 2017, over 156,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in the United States due to golf cart-related injuries. Over that 11-year period, “the number of golf cart-related injuries increased by approximately 14.7%…from an estimated 14,599 cases…in 2007, to an estimated 16,752 cases…in 2017…” (ScienceDirect.com)

In the Palmetto State, in just the last few years, there have been several deaths from golf cart accidents:

In 2017, a man fell out of a golf cart on Folly Beach, hit his head on the pavement, and died.

In 2019, a Greenville County woman crashed a golf cart, resulting in a heart attack and death.

In July of 2020, Melanie Popjes was a passenger in a golf cart on Fripp Island. She was holding her infant daughter in her lap. Popjes fell off the golf cart, with the baby cradled in her arms. The infant was safe, because Mrs. Popjes had prevented her daughter from hitting the pavement. Unfortunately, Mrs. Popjes lost her life.

Melanie Popjes mother, Dian McDermott, is calling for stricter enforcement of current golf cart regulations, and for further regulation, including a seat belt requirement and a requirement for car seats for children under a certain age and weight. (PostandCourier.com)

Do you know the current golf cart regulations in South Carolina?

To read the regulations, see Section 56-2-105 of the South Carolina Code of Laws (Golf cart permit and the operation of a golf cart).

“Despite the high rate of injuries, there have been no meaningful changes in golf cart design or legislation to reduce the overall burden of these injuries.” (ScienceDirect.com) So, for now it’s left up to us, golf-cart drivers and passengers, to keep ourselves and others safe.

These Golf Cart Safety Tips can help:

  • Keep arms and legs in vehicle at all times.
  • Always use seat belts. If not installed, have them installed.
  • Abide by all normal traffic rules.
  • Do not drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Know and use hand signals.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Do not drive in extreme weather.
  • Perform safety checks at least twice a year. Golf carts need maintenance just like your car or truck.
  • Have headlights and taillights installed.
  • Don’t let inexperienced drivers drive.
  • Avoid carrying too much weight. Carry only the number of people the golf cart is designed to seat.
  • Check your surroundings, being aware of blind spots.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Avoid driving on bumpy or uneven terrains.

(GolfCarts.org)

For more golf cart safety tips:

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING GOLF CART ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart-related accident due to someone else’s negligence, let the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after a catastrophic injury. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to trial.

Our team and co-counsel has years of experience representing accident victims and their families throughout South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.postandcourier.com/columnists/parenting-has-golf-carting-with-kids-gotten-out-of-hand-in-charleston-and-mount-pleasant/article_18b8baba-e5d4-11e9-8020-8b8db111b19e.html

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Staying Safe During the 2020 Holidays

2020 has definitely been a year we will never forgot! We’re all ready for this pandemic to be over with, so we can get back to normal. With Christmas around the corner, we need to keep safety in mind, not only as far as COVID-19 goes, but also general safety measures for this time of year.

Holiday Safety in a Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends gathering in person with members of your own household only and celebrating only virtually with those outside of your home.

If you do get together with others outside of your household, here are suggestions from the CDC:

Traveling

The safest option for traveling is driving your own car.

Whether traveling by car or public transportation, wear a mask in all public settings.

Avoid close contact with anyone outside of your household by social distancing.

Keep hands clean by washing with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

Hosting or Attending a Gathering

Limit number of attendees as much as possible to allow for social distancing.

Gather outdoors, rather than indoors.

Require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

If you gather indoors, increase ventilation as much as possible, by opening windows and doors.

Limit contact with commonly touched items, such as serving utensils. A good suggestion is to have one person wear a mask and serve all the food; that way, the serving utensils are not being handled by multiple people.

Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces as often as possible.

“Plan ahead and ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their household for 14 days before the gathering.”

Everyone at the gathering should keep hands washed or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.

(CDC.gov)

(NYTimes.com)

Other Safety Measures for the Holidays

Travel: Prepare your car for winter weather. Have an emergency preparedness kit in the car with you. Avoid drowsy driving. Leave early, planning for heavy traffic. Do not use your cell phone while driving. Make sure you’re driving sober.

Decorating: Keep potentially poisonous plants away from children and pets. Make sure to keep water in a live Christmas tree. “Place your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources, making certain not to block doorways.”(NSC.org) Avoid putting breakable ornaments and ornaments with small parts on the lower branches within reach of small children. Use indoor lights indoors only, and outdoor lights outdoors only. Choose a safe ladder for hanging lights. Do not use lights that have broken sockets, frayed wires, or loose connections. Never nail or tack wires when hanging lights. Keep plugs off the ground, away from puddles and snow. Turn off all lights and decorations when retiring for bed, or when leaving the house.

Candles and Fireplaces: Place candles where they cannot be knocked or blown over, and out of the reach of children. Use flameless candles near flammable objects. Don’t burn wrapping paper, trees or wreaths in the fireplace. Always use a screen in front of the fireplace when burning a fire. Have your chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year.

Food Safety: Wash hands frequently when handling food. Keep raw meat away from fresh produce. “Use separate cutting boards, plate and utensils for uncooked and cook meats to avoid cross-contamination.” Refrigerate leftover food within two hours of being served. Use refrigerated leftovers withing three to four days.

Gift-Giving: Choose toys in the appropriate age range for safety. Select toys without small parts for children under the age of three. “Be cautious about toys that have button batteries or magnets, which can be harmful or fatal if swallowed.” When giving scooters or other riding toys, give safety gear (proper-fitting helmet, elbow and knee pads) as well.

For more toy safety and information on recalls, check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

COVID-friendly holiday activities going on around South Carolina:

Upstate Holiday Lights at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway https://greenvillepickens.com/upstate-holiday-light-show/

Holiday Lights on the River (Columbia)

https://www.icrc.net/event/holiday-lights-river-35

The Great Christmas Light Show (North Myrtle Beach)

https://parks.nmb.us/433/The-Great-Christmas-Light-Show

Holiday Festival of Lights (James Island)

https://ccprc.com/1975/Holiday-Festival-of-Lights

Christmas in Hopelands (Aiken)

https://www.visitaikensc.com/calendar/event/christmas_in_hopelands_2019

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD: HERE TO FIGHT FOR INJURY VICTIMS IN GEORGETOWN AND HORRY COUNTIES AND THROUGHOUT SOUTH CAROLINA

Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.

Other online resources used for this article:  https://safer-america.com/holiday-safety-tips/

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

The Dangers of Swimming Pool Chlorine

Swimming can be a fun and healthy activity, for children and adults alike, especially in the summer heat. Unfortunately, with that fun there are dangers lurking that most people don’t think about.

Chlorine, like household chemicals has many risks, if not used and stored properly.

Chlorine is used to keep swimming pools clean, and free from bacteria, alga and other harmful substances, so the water is safe for swimming. “Chlorine breaks down oils, lotions and skin flakes, more commonly known as “bather waste”.” (LovetoKnow.com)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 4,535 people per year have gone to the emergency room for exposure to chlorine, in the last decade. More than half of those injuries are taking place at home pools, and more than a third of the injured are children and teens. (CDC.com)

The most common injury is poisoning, by breathing in the fumes. Other injuries occur when chlorine is not secured out of the reach of children, and “when people enter a pool too soon after chemicals have been added.” (TheWashingtonPost.com)

The dangers of chlorine:

  • Can be a skin irritant, causing skin rashes like eczema, and aggravating conditions like acne, psoriasis and seborrhea. If you notice your skin becoming irritated by a chlorinated pool, doctors suggest supplementing your diet with essential fatty acids.
  • Can cause itchy, burning eyes.
  • Can aggravate or trigger bronchial problems, such as asthma.
  • There is a possible association between exposure to chlorine and some types of cancer (bladder and breast cancer, and malignant melanoma).
  • Can be linked to bowel difficulties.

The reported dangers of chlorine use in swimming pools is scary, but there are some things you can do to keep safe.

Safety tips for pool owners and operators:

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage and storage. Chlorine is poisonous, flammable and corrosive. When “used improperly, chlorine poses serious risks of illness, injury, fire and explosion.” (LovetoKnow.com)
  • Wear safety equipment, like gloves, respirators, and goggles.
  • Keep pool chemicals out of the reach of children, teens and animals.
  • Do not mix chlorine with any other chemicals.
  • Do not mix different forms of chlorine together.
  • Do not remove chlorine from its original container.
  • Keep poison control phone number handy.
  • Maintain proper water pH levels.
  • Do not over chlorinate your pool.
  • Research chemical-free alternatives.

Safety tips for swimmers:

  • If possible, limit your time in the water.
  • Keep the chemicals in the pool healthy by showering for at least 1 minute before getting into the water. This will remove dirt, oils, sweat and chemicals from your body.
  • Never use the pool as a toilet. This causes an unhealthy reaction with the chlorine.

The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Here to Fight for Injury Victims in Georgetown and Horry Counties and Throughout South Carolina

Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Fireworks Safety Tips

Although fireworks are legal in most places in South Carolina, they can be incredibly dangerous. Because fireworks cause a high risk for burns, eye injuries, and fires, the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Fire Protection Association advise people to enjoy firework displays conducted by professionals, instead of setting them off in your own backyard.

“In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20.”(NSC.org) A majority of these incidents were because professional-grade fireworks were being used by amateurs, or people were setting off homemade fireworks, or other illegal explosives. An average of 18,500 fires are started by fireworks every year.

If you insist on setting off fireworks yourself, first make sure your local laws allow fireworks in the area where you plan to use them, and that the specific type of fireworks you buy are legal to set off. M-class fireworks (for example, M-80’s, or M-100’s) are illegal and extremely dangerous. If you see any of these, please report them to the fire or police department.

Once you’re sure it’s legal, be sure to follow these safety tips:

  • Do not allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should be closely supervised
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Use safety glasses when using fireworks, or when standing close to where they are being lit
  • Never hold fireworks in your hand
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Make sure to light them away from people, houses, and flammable materials
  • Never aim or throw fireworks at another person
  • Do not light more than one device at a time
  • Maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Do not ignite devices in any kind of container
  • Do not re-light or pick up ‘duds’
  • Soak spent and unused fireworks in water before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby, in case of fire, and to fully extinguish fireworks that malfunction
  • Keep pets inside. Most animals are extremely frightened by fireworks and have a tendency to run away.

If you do get burned, or have an injury to the eye, seek medical help immediately. Don’t apply ointment, take pain medicines, or attempt to remove any foreign objects from the eye before seeing a doctor. Do not rub or rinse eyes.

“As long as fireworks are treated with respect and rules are followed, injuries to people or property can be reduced.”(TripSavvy.com)

The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Here to Fight for Injury Victims in Georgetown and Horry Counties and Throughout South Carolina

Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.

Other online resources used in this article:

https://www.prevention.com/life/a21999237/firework-safety-tips/

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Bodily Injury Lawyer Motor Vehicle Accidents

SC Ranked 10th Most Dangerous for Pedestrians

Even though Americans are walking less, U.S. pedestrian deaths have risen by 45% since 2010. Cities are encouraging residents to walk and bike, but have not updated city streets (designed largely for motor vehicles) to accommodate pedestrians. Roads have been “engineered for fast-moving and unhindered vehicular traffic, with few pedestrian crossings…” (FastCompany.com)

Where there are pedestrian zones and/or bike lanes, they only extend for short distances, and most drivers have yet to realize that urban streets are to be shared with pedestrians.

“Adding to the dangers are distracted drivers and pedestrians and the introduction of electric scooters. Some observers also believe an epidemic of narcissism is causing more aggressive driving.”

South Carolina was recently ranked number 10 in the U.S. for dangerous places for pedestrians. Last year South Carolina was ranked number 7. While this shows some improvement, being ranked in the top 10 “underscores the profound lack of pedestrian infrastructure in South Carolina.” (PostandCourier.com)

According to South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP), there were 145 pedestrian deaths in 2016 and 1,589 in 2017, in South Carolina. So far this year, one out of every five traffic fatalities in SC has been a pedestrian. That number is higher than last year, per SCHP.

Horry County Statistics:

In Horry County, between January 2018 and January 2019, 107 pedestrian accidents occurred, with 17of those being fatal.

Cpl. Sonny Collins with SCHP says drivers and pedestrians can work together to minimize these accidents in the future. He says pedestrians should wear bright-colored clothes or reflective gear, to make them stand out. “…anything that a motorist can see you and identify where you are.” (WMBFNews.com)

Collins also says most pedestrian accidents happen at night. If you’re driving 55 mph, by the time you see something in front of you, there’s no way to stop in time. Drivers should slow down at night, and keep a close eye out for pedestrians.

Trooper Joe Hovis, SCHP spokesman, suggests pedestrians face traffic when there is no sidewalk, and NOT to walk at all if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. (The Greenville News)

Charleston Area Statistics:

According to a 2018 study by the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, the Charleston area “…accounted for more than 20 percent of bicycle and pedestrian crashes between 2009 and 2017.”

The city of Charleston’s transportation director, Keith Benjamin says SCDOT has designed roads in such a way to move vehicles from one place to another as quickly as possible, with no accommodation for pedestrians. Slower speed limits are safer for pedestrians, but under current road designs, that’s not possible. (PostandCourier.com)

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Government (COG) has formed a new committee, the CHATS Safety Improvement Committee, to work with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) on ways to reduce traffic deaths.

Katie Zimmerman of the mobility nonprofit Charleston Moves serves on this committee. She said the main way to fix the problem, is to “build streets that are ‘complete’, which means they are safe and connected for people to not only drive, but also bike and walk and wait for the bus.” She wants to make sure the committee focuses on making the roads safer for all, instead of on what pedestrians and bikers need to do differently.

The Law Offices of David L. Hood – Serving Car Accident Victims in South Carolina

If you have suffered in an accident on the roads in South Carolina, and hire us, the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood will work to help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.

Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information here and schedule your free consultation session. From the moment you hire us, we will stay with you each step of the way in the fight to achieve justice for you and your family.

Other online references used in this article:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90294569/the-number-of-pedestrians-killed-by-cars-keeps-going-up

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Winter Holiday Safety Tips

The winter holidays should be a beautiful, enjoyable time of year with family and friends. Safety plays a big role in making sure no one ends up in the hospital or worse. Here are some safety tips to remember that will ensure “a holiday to remember” for the RIGHT reasons:

Traveling

The roads are extremely busy during the holidays, with people traveling to see family, or for vacation. In 2015, 386 people died in automobiles on Thanksgiving Day, 273 on Christmas Day, and 355 on New Year’s Day. (National Safety Council)

  • Plan ahead. Know where you’re going, and how to get there.
  • Use a designated driver after a holiday party.
  • Buckle-up for safety, no matter how long the ride.
  • Don’t be distracted while driving: Put away the cell phone.
  • Keep your vehicle properly maintained, including a first aid kit.
  • Be prepared for heavy traffic, and possible snow.

Decorating

Emergency rooms see thousands of injuries involving decorating every holiday season. The National Fire Protection Association reports that about 600 fires are caused by Christmas tree lights and decorations each year in the United States:

  • Artificial snow spray can irritate your lungs if inhaled. Follow directions carefully.
  • Always use a proper step ladder. Do not use chairs or other furniture.
  • Make sure light decorations have no exposed or frayed wires. Don’t overload electrical circuits.
  • Do not run electrical cords under rugs or carpets.
  • Never use indoor lights outside
  • Turn off holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Keep poisonous plants away from children and animals.
  • Keep paths clear of wrapping paper, toys, decorations, etc.

Gift-Giving

Make sure gifts for children are age-appropriate.

Candles and Fireplaces

There is a higher risk of fires in December, due to an increased use of candles and fireplaces along with combustible, seasonal decorations:

  • Do not leave burning candles unattended.
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Don’t burn candles near flammable items.
  • Don’t burn wrapping paper, wreaths or trees in the fireplace.
  • Check and clean the fireplace and chimney areas at least once a year.
  • Make sure smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are working properly.

Christmas Trees

7,500 injuries are caused by accidents involving Christmas Trees and decorations every year in the U.S.:

  • When using a live tree, select a fresh one that is not dried out. Check branches every day and make sure the stand stays filled with water.
  • Place the tree in a secure stand that is made for the weight of the tree.
  • Never use a heat source (radiators, fireplaces, candles, lighter, etc.) near the tree.
  • Dispose of the tree when it becomes too dry, or when needles start to fall off.
  • Make sure artificial trees are made of material that is fire-resistant.
  • If you have small children, keep small decorations (that can be swallowed) and breakable decorations out of their reach.

Cooking

Holiday food safety tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently while handling food.
  • Thoroughly wash raw foods (fruits and vegetables).
  • Use a food thermometer to cook meat to a safe temperature.
  • Separate raw and cooked food to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Refrigerate perishable leftovers after two hours.

The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Here to Fight for Injury Victims in Georgetown and Horry Counties and Throughout South Carolina

Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.

To find fun Winter Holiday events in South Carolina, for children and adults, click here.

Other online resources used:

Lowes: https://www.lowes.com/projects/other-activities/holiday-safety-tips-for-your-home/project

Atlantic: https://www.atlantictraining.com/safety-tips/holiday-safety-tips.php

Children’s Hospital: http://www.chp.edu/injury-prevention/safety/holiday-and-seasonal/winter-holidays

Central Insurance Companies: https://www.central-insurance.com/docs/tips-holidaysafety.htm

Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drowsy Driving Comparable to Drunk Driving

The holidays are quickly approaching, and there will be many travelers on the roads, many driving after a long day at work. Some will be driving after getting virtually no sleep.

Our busy lives can make the roads a dangerous place, especially when so many are on the roads. Fatigue can be caused by many factors: a new baby keeping you awake at night, work, staying out late with friends, or a long, monotonous drive.

Living in a 24/7 society makes it hard to get the sleep we need, due to long work hours, longer commutes, and “exponential advancement of technology.” Scientists have found that driving after getting less than four hours of sleep a night is like “driving with a blood alcohol concentration roughly 1.5 times the legal limit.” (HealthDay, https://consumer.healthday.com/sleep-disorder-information-33/misc-sleep-problems-news-626/drowsy-driving-as-risky-as-drunk-driving-737834.html)

Police and hospital reports are used by NHTSA to determine the number of drowsy-driving crashes. In 2015, police reported over 72,000 crashes involving drowsy drivers. These accidents caused 41,000 injuries and 824 deaths.

A study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety examining data on 5,470 crashes, found that an estimated 7% of U.S. car accidents and 16% of all fatal collisions involve sleepy drivers.

Unfortunately, determining an exact number of crashes, injuries and fatalities due to drowsy-driving is not possible. “Crash investigators can look for clues that drowsiness contributed to a crash, but these clues are not always identifiable or conclusive.” (NHTSA, https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving)

Research shows that those who get less than seven hours of sleep at night are not only more likely to be in a car accident, but to actually cause the crash. Although experts say adults need seven to nine hours of sleep at night, surveys show that 20% of Americans fall short of this recommendation.

Being awake also does not mean you’re alert. “Sleep-deprived drivers are still at increased risk of making mistakes – like failing to notice something important, or misjudging a gap in traffic – which can have tragic consequences.”

Tips to Avoid Driving Drowsy

  • Getting seven to nine hours of sleep on a daily basis is the best way to avoid driving drowsy. For more information on healthy sleep, see the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the start of a long family car trip.
  • Advise teens to delay driving until they’re well-rested. Teens need more sleep than they realize.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before driving. Alcohol consumption increases sleepiness and impairment.
  • Check prescriptions and over-the-counter labels on medicines you take to be sure drowsiness is not a side-effect. If so, use public transportation when possible.
  • Avoid driving during peak sleepiness periods (midnight to 6:00AM and late afternoon).

The Law Offices of David L. Hood – Serving Car Accident Victims in South Carolina

If you have suffered a collision in South Carolina, the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood will help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.

Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session. From that moment until your case is closed, we will stay with you each step of the way in the fight to achieve justice for you and your family.

Other online references used in this article: Safety and Health, https://www.lds.org/callings/church-safety-and-health/training-and-video-resources/drowsy-driving?lang=eng

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Infant Walkers Cause More Than 9,000 Injuries in the US Every Year

Despite all the warnings of the hazards of baby walkers, thousands of babies still end up with walker-related injuries each year.

Changes in safety standards have resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of babies injured by infant walkers. “In 1997, a voluntary safety standard required the base of baby walkers to be wider than a standard 36-inch doorway, or to have a device that automatically engages a brake if one of the wheels drops over the edge of a step, researchers said.” (UPI) If one of these two requirements was met, the manufacturer could add a sticker to the product saying it is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) made these requirements mandatory. These standards made it so that CPSC could stop noncomplying imported walkers from coming into the U.S.

However, research shows that even after these standards became mandatory, emergency room doctors still continue to see around 2,000 children a year for these injuries.

Even with all the educational campaigns and warning labels, parents still underestimate the safety risk of these devices.

Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide’s Children’s Hospital says, “Many parents believe baby walkers offer their children entertainment, promote walking, and provide a baby activity while parents are doing something else.” He says these products actually do not promote walking, but instead may delay mental and motor development.

However, Smith is not blaming parents for these injuries. “These are good parents who were carefully supervising their children and using the baby walker as intended. Their only error was that they believed the myth that baby walkers are safe to use.”

In just a second, a baby can move four feet in a walker. That’s not near enough time for a parent to stop a baby from falling down stairs, or reaching for something dangerous.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has called for a ban on baby walkers with wheels. It suggests parents throw away walkers in their homes and entertain their children in stationary activity centers and other activities. The devices have no developmental advantages, and create a risk for children, according to the AAP.” (CNN)

Causes of Injury:

  • Most common injury (74.1%) – falling down stairs
  • Falling out of walker
  • Proximity-related injuries: the child being able to reach something he/she would normally be unable to reach

Types of Injuries:

  • More than 90% of incidents led to head and neck injuries.
  • Burns
  • Poisoning
  • Drowning

Smith says a safer option for babies is stationary activity centers. These hold the baby in an upright sitting position, but have no wheels. They have fun activities that are within the baby’s reach, and are excellent for a baby’s development. Other safe options are play yards or playpens, and high chairs.

If parents insist on purchasing a walker anyway, please follow these safety tips:

  • Block stairs with a closed door or gate.
  • Keep children within view.
  • Keep children away from hot surfaces and objects.
  • Keep children away from dangling cords, toilets and swimming pools.

Contact David L. Hood If You’ve Been Hurt by a Defective Product in South Carolina

If your child or loved one has been injured by a recalled or defective baby walker, please schedule a free consultation with attorney David L. Hood by calling (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the effects of product defect-related injuries and the untold pain and suffering they cause — especially when children are the victims. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to protect your rights and make things simple for you and your family so you can focus on healing. After a free case evaluation, attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Other online resources used for this article:

ABC News: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117253&page=1

American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Baby-Walkers-A-Dangerous-Choice.aspx

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Make Your Halloween Spooktacular

Halloween can be an exciting time for families, especially children. Carnivals, trick-or-treating, parties, and haunted houses can all make for a spooktacular Halloween; but moms and dads need to be very cautious when it comes to Halloween safety.

Here are some scary statistics that parents need to pay attention to:

  • Each year, only 1/3 of parents talk to their children about Halloween safety, although ¾ report having Halloween safety fears.
  • 12% of children under the age of 6 are permitted to trick-or-treat alone.
  • Children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car striking them on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
  • Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on Halloween costumes.

Follow these safety tips for a fun, magical Halloween:

Costume Safety

  • All costumes and accessories need to be fire-resistant.
  • Costumes should be brightly colored, or have reflective tape added, so that they can easily be seen by drivers of on-coming cars.
  • Make sure your children can easily walk in their costumes without tripping. Alter baggy, or oversized costumes, so they won’t drag the ground.
  • Eyeholes and masks need to provide enough visibility and ventilation.
  • Avoid accessories with sharp points.

Trick-or-Treating

  • Have children carry a bright-colored trick-or-treat bag, and carry a flashlight.
  • Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods, at homes of people you know.
  • Make sure all children have adult supervision while trick-or-treating.
  • Teach children to “look both ways before crossing the street”, and NOT to use electronic devices while doing so.
  • Instruct children not to eat any treats until an adult can check to be sure they’re safe; then dispose of any candy that is not wrapped, or loosely wrapped.
  • Contact police if it appears that any treats have been tampered with.

Adults also need to practice safety on Halloween, even if you don’t have any children. Here are some tips to help keep all children safe:

  • Make sure your home is well-lit.
  • Clear steps and lawns of anything that children can trip over.
  • Drive slowly, and watch for children.
  • Don’t pass stopped vehicles.
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from being on the roads on Halloween.
  • Do NOT use your phone while driving.

To find awesome Halloween events in South Carolina, for children and adults, click here.

The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Here to Fight for Injury Victims in Georgetown and Horry Counties and Throughout South Carolina

Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Online references used in this article:

Halloween Safety Tips http://www.chp.edu/injury-prevention/safety/holiday-and-seasonal/halloween

National Safety Council https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween

Halloween Safety Guide http://www.halloween-safety.com/halloween_safety_adults.html

Safe Kids Worldwide https://www.safekids.org/infographic/quick-tips-safe-halloween

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Important Safety Tips for Buying Gifts for Children

The holiday season is just around the corner. Children start thinking about what they want from Santa, as parents begin considering how much money they will have to spend, and how best to spend that money on their kids, to give them the most wonderful, magical Christmas.

Safety should be a top priority when parents are trying to decide what Santa will bring. “While toy safety is important year-round, consumers should keep a few important things in mind when considering toys for the children in their families during the frenzied holiday shopping season.” (Consumer Reports)

In November, 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that in 2016, there were 174,100 toy-related ER-treated injuries and 7 deaths involving children under the age of 15.

Do your research before buying toys for the children you love. Here are some safety tips that can help guide your toy gift shopping this holiday season:

1. Look for Age-Appropriate Toys

Check toy labels to make sure they’re age-appropriate for the child. Manufacturers are encouraged by the CPSC to use their Age Determination Guidelines to clearly label toys with accurate age guidelines.

An example is the federal small parts regulations. Parents with small children know that they love to put things in their mouths. These regulations ban toys intended for children under 3 years of age from being small, or having small parts, including pieces that may fall off or break off while a child is playing with it, preventing toys from becoming a choking hazard.

“Per these regulations, a “small part” is defined as anything that fits completely into a test cylinder slightly smaller than a toilet-paper tube, which approximates the size of a fully expanded throat of a child.”

Parents need to pay attention to age-appropriateness when shopping for older children who have younger siblings as well. A toy with small parts may fall into the hands of the smaller sibling. If an older sibling has toys that are dangerous for younger siblings, parents need to supervise play to be sure the smaller children do not have access to these toys.

An example is the fidget spinner, some of which are not safe for younger children, since they have small parts that could break off and be a choking hazard.

2. Avoid Toys With Unsafe Lead Levels

Some fidget spinners are also dangerous because they contain dangerous levels of lead (over the federal legal limit of 100 parts per million for children’s products). “If you are considering buying a fidget spinner for your child, you should only buy one that is intended for use by children-those that are marked as being suitable for children 12 and younger,” Don Huber, Director of Product Safety for Consumer Reports advises. “These products are required to meet the toy safety standard and will not contain excessive levels of lead and other heavy metals, and phthalates.”

3. Beware of High-Powered Magnets

“According to the federal toy safety standard, a “hazardous magnet” is one that has a flux index (a measure of the force of attraction between the magnets) greater than 50 kG² mm² and that is also a small object.”

These magnets are extremely dangerous if two or more are swallowed and come together in the intestines. This can cause serious injuries or even death.

Parents should avoid all small, high-powered magnets sets when buying for their children. William Wallace, Policy Analyst for Consumers Union said, “We continue to urge companies not to put dangerous products like these on the market and the government to hold them accountable for safety.”

4. Make Sure Riding Toys are Safe and are Used Safely

Riding toys were associated with the most injuries and toy-related deaths, according to the CPSC’s report. Motor vehicles were the cause of all the riding toy fatalities, so it’s important to supervise children to be sure they’re using proper safety measures: not riding on streets with traffic and wearing safety gear (including the proper size helmet).

5. Check for Recalls

The CPSC issued toy recalls for fiscal year 2017. These toys included ones with choking hazards, toys that can catch fire, etc. Check the agency’s list of recalls when researching gift ideas for children.

Keep in mind parents, your job isn’t over after all the gifts are open, and the children are enjoying their new toys. “When bringing new toys into the home, it’s a good idea for parents to engage with their child in play and provide supervision for appropriate, safe play,” Huber advises.

Contact David L. Hood If You’ve Been Hurt by a Defective Product in South Carolina

If your child or loved one has been injured by a recalled or defective toy, please schedule a free consultation with experienced product defect attorney David L. Hood by calling (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the effects of product defect-related injuries and the untold pain and suffering they cause — especially when children are the victims. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to protect your rights and make things simple for you and your family so you can focus on healing. After a free case evaluation, product liability attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.