Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

‘Zoom Zombies’ Behind the Wheel

So much has changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have all been forced to use our phones and computers more, whether for purchasing goods online, virtually visiting friends and relatives, or virtually meeting with business associates and/or clients. Social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions have given rise to Zoom becoming one of the most popular apps.

Could “our dependence on Zoom and other video chat software…be turning us into bad drivers?” (USAToday.com) Increased screen usage and reliance on technology is turning some drivers into “Zoom Zombies”, causing distracted zoning-out.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned that “risky driving and fatal crashes have risen sharply” in the last year, despite Americans driving less. (USAToday.com)

“A new study by Root Insurance found 54 percent of the 1,819 American adult motorists surveyed said they have had trouble concentrating on the road after videoconferences.” (NBCNews.com) This survey was taken between March 12th and March 17th, and involved drivers aged 18 and above. See the online report here.

Russ Rader, an official with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said, “There’s the risk of cognitive distraction, looking at the road while your thoughts are elsewhere. That zoning out may mean you don’t notice a dangerous situation soon enough to react.” (NBCNews.com)

According to the Root Insurance report, South Carolina has the most distracted drivers out of the 29 states surveyed, with 21.91 distracted driver events per 100 miles. These events can be avoided.

How can you prevent distracted driving?

  • When you get in the driver’s seat, commit to focus fully on driving, and to avoid distractions.
  • Never attempt to multi-task while driving. Ask a passenger for help, or pull over to perform other tasks, like changing a CD or updating directions on the GPS.
  • Silence or store your cell phone out of reach so that you’re not tempted to look at it or use it while driving.
  • Adjust seats, mirrors, headrest, seat belt, etc. before getting on the road.
  • As a passenger, discourage distracted driving, and help when needed.

(DefensiveDriving.org)

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.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210406005760/en/Beware-of-the-Zoom-Zombie-54-of-Americans-Who-Drive-After-Video-Chatting-Report-Trouble-Concentrating

Categories
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
Motor Vehicle Accidents

South Carolina – The Most Dangerous Place to Drive

1.35 million people are killed every year in traffic accidents around the world. In the United States, there were 36,560 deaths resulting from car accidents in 2018. (Reviews.com) Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 through 54. (CDC.gov)

Today’s automobiles are smarter and safer than ever, due to advanced safety technology in the last couple of decades. However, because of increasing driver error and carelessness, traffic fatalities have only decreased by 1% in the last three years.

“According to CNBC, ‘Experts suggest driving hazards such as texting while driving and higher speed limits are offsetting the benefits of safety systems like automatic emergency braking and increased seat belt usage.’” (AutoInsurance.org)

A 2020 AutoInsurance.org study analyzing “the worst states for traffic-related fatalities, the lives lost in each state, and each’s best and worst categories,” reported that South Carolina had the most traffic deaths per 100 million miles driven, of any state in the US for three consecutive years, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Here are the Palmetto State’s traffic death rates for those three years:

2016 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.65 (ranked 1st place in the US)

2017 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.86 (ranked 1st place in the US)

2018 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.86 (ranked 1st place in the US)

Every one of these fatalities could have been prevented. “It’s easy to blame drunk drivers, lax laws, or dangerous roads…but just one mistake made by YOU can” cause a loss of life. (AutoInsurance.org)

“Model safe driving for your family and others on the road around you. Do everything in your power to keep our roads safe and save lives.” (AutoInsurance.org)

For driving safety tips, please go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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.

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/