Columbia Child Pedestrians Face Greater Crash Risks

Parents in Florence, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and Pee Dee need to talk with their children about pedestrian safety and tell kids that if they are crossing the road or walking somewhere, the kids must be 100 percent focused on walking safely. Kids shouldn’t be using smart phones or electronic devices while they are walking. A personal injury lawyer knows that even having a conversation with a friend or listening to head phones can exacerbate the risk of a child getting hurt in a pedestrian collision. 

While it is important for every pedestrian to pay careful attention to what is going on around him, this may be even more essential for children.  This is because a recent study shows that children 10 and under frequently suffer from perceptual blindness.

Perceptual Blindness Puts Children at Risk of Pedestrian Crashes

Around 25 percent of children who are killed in motor vehicle accidents lose their lives in pedestrian crashes.  Some children lose their lives because they don’t see cars coming toward them, while others are killed due to the negligence of the driver.

Perceptual blindness makes younger kids less likely to see cars in time to get out of the way. Perceptual blindness refers to the fact that you don’t recognize what is going on around you if you have your attention focused on something else.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently on a study showing younger children don’t have the same ability to recognize an unexpected object as adults do.  The study was conducted in Germany and 480 school children were included. The kids involved in the study were boys and girls between the ages of eight and 15.

A 30-second video of basketball players was shown to the children. The kids were told that their goal was to watch the players who were wearing white jerseys and to count the number of times that those players had passed.

While the children were looking at the third video, a man dressed in a gorilla suit came on to the basketball court.  The gorilla walked directly across the court and then went out an area where there was no camera pointing. The gorilla was visible in the video the kids were watching for a full nine seconds.

At the end of the experiment, the children were asked if they had observed anything unusual in the video. Less than half (only 43 percent) said they saw the gorilla. Kids who were older were more likely to see it.  A total of 32 percent of 10-year-olds indicated they had seen the gorilla.  This was higher than the 15 percent of eight-year-olds, and the 31 percent of nine-year-olds.

By the time a child reaches the age of 11, this perceptual blindness phenomenon seems to resolve itself and children are just as capable as adults at being able to identify things going on around them even if their focus is elsewhere.  Still, for younger children especially, perceptual blindness can make them more likely to get hurt. Parents need to talk to their kid about staying focused and about road safety while drivers should also think carefully about whether they are obeying the rules and protecting children.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit www.matthewsandmegna.com. Serving the entire Florence, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and Pee Dee, SC area.

Columbia Accident Victims Face Long-Term Risks from Brain Injury

Damage to the brain can have a profound impact on victims in Columbia, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and surrounding areas. Brain injuries frequently occur due to motor vehicle collisions, sports accidents, falls and violence. Victims can recover compensation for losses with the help of a personal injury lawyer but need to understand the full extent of the damage they’ve suffered. 

A recent article on NBC News discussed some of the short-term and long-term health implications of a brain injury. The article was prompted by the suicide of an Ohio State University Football player. It is believed that a part of the reason for the suicide was that the player had suffered repeated trauma to the head and suffered from the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Traumatic Brain Injuries Affect Your Health

When most people think of the symptoms of brain injury, they don’t think of suicide as an obvious consequence of a blow to the head. The reality, however, is that an increased risk of suicide and an increased chance of substance abuse or addiction are just two of many long-term problems that have been linked to repeated concussions.

When any kind of traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs, there may be permanent changes to the brain. Even a concussion causes a mini-seizure, after which the affected part of the brain will shut down for a period of time in order to try to recover. It can take several days or several weeks for the brain to return to normal, and there are often permanent changes when no further healing occurs. When there are repeated head traumas and multiple concussions or TBIs, the cumulative damage to the brain can have a very profound impact on health.

Some of the possible long-term consequences of repeated concussions can include:

  • An increased chance of developing Parkinson’s disease.
  • An increased chance of developing dementia.
  • The development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which results in experiencing health symptoms that are similar to the adverse effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • The development of post-concussion syndrome, which results in behavioral changes, concentration challenges and reduced cognitive function.

It is difficult or impossible to tell whether a person who has experienced head trauma will experience these health consequences months, years or decades later. Most victims of head injuries will also experience immediate symptoms such as dizziness, confusion and amnesia.

The short-term and long-term health damages of brain injury have become more widely known in recent years. High-profile lawsuits by professional football players against the National Football League (NFL) have helped to bring this issue into the headlines and raise awareness. In part because of more knowledge about the issue, there has been a 29 percent increase over the past four years in the number of people who go to an emergency room to get care after experiencing an injury to the head. Elderly people and children are the most likely to suffer a head injury and the most likely to go to the ER for treatment.

Victims can get help to mitigate the most serious risks of brain injury, which can include death. However, once the injuries have occurred, the damage is done and no treatment can undo it.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit http://www.matthewsandmegna.com. Serving the entire Florence, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and Pee Dee, SC area 

Columbia Crash Risk Heightens With ‘Buzzed Driving’

Many motorists think they can have a drink or two and still get behind the wheel safely. A personal injury lawyer knows it can be very difficult to predict a safe amount to drink without your driving being affected. 

Because even a small amount of alcohol may affect your ability to drive, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reminded motorists that “buzzed driving” is indeed drunk driving. With holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, coupled with the earlier darkness due to daylight-saving time ending, it is more important than ever for motorists to be aware of the high risks associated with driving after consuming alcohol.

Buzzed Driving Can Increase the Risk of Collisions

One of the biggest challenges in preventing intoxicated driving is that people who have consumed alcohol may not be able to make a rational choice about whether they can safely drive. As Young Men’s Health cautions, having one drink can make it harder to think clearly and affect your judgment. As a result, after you have consumed alcohol, you may believe that you are OK to drive when really it would be unsafe for you to do so.

The Daily Mail also reported on a study demonstrating how difficult it is to make accurate predictions about when you have had too much to drink such that your driving will be affected. Researchers found that one thin dancer was able to consume considerably more alcohol than someone twice as heavy as she was before her ability to drive safely was affected. While weight and gender are important factors in blood-alcohol content estimation, the historical frequency of alcohol consumption and a variety of other things all impact the way in which alcohol affects you.

Here’s a fact: Most people really can’t drink as much as they think before their driving is affected. This is why the National Transportation Safety Board is advocating for the permissible blood-alcohol concentration limit to be dropped from the current level of .08 percent to a lower level of .05 percent. The reason is once a person reaches the .05 percent level, driving abilities may already be significantly impaired. For some people, just one drink would result in the legal threshold being reached or exceeded.

Business Insider published a chart showing just how little you can actually consume before you have had too much alcohol to be legally allowed to drive. For example, after a 100-pound man had consumed only two drinks, his blood-alcohol concentration would be at .09 percent. A 180-pound man would only have to drink three drinks before he reached a blood-alcohol concentration level over the legal limit and even a 220-pound man could have just four drinks.

It is always better not to take a chance and drive when you are buzzed. So before you start drinking for the night, be sure you have a designated driver or another plan in place to get home without getting behind the wheel.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit http://www.matthewsandmegna.com. Serving the entire Florence, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and Pee Dee, SC area. 

Columbia Drivers Too Distracted to Drive Safely?

Driver distraction is increasingly a major cause of motor vehicle collisions. Many drivers are aware of the dangers of talking on a cell phone, texting or using other electronics while driving. Unfortunately, the solution that some motorists have come up with involves using hands-free kits or voice control. Recent evidence suggests that this is not a good approach to improving road safety and could actually end up making things worse.  

A personal injury lawyer knows that the only way to minimize the chances of a collision caused by distracted driving is to focus only on the roads. Our brains are not good at multitasking and drivers simply do not do an effective job of driving when they are talking to electronic devices.

Talking to your Electronics Can be Dangerous While Driving

Yahoo News reported on recent studies determining whether voice-controlled electronics were safe for drivers to use. The researchers looked at the use of in-vehicle infotainment systems by major car manufacturers including Chevrolet, Mercedes, Chrysler and Hyundai. The researchers also looked at the voice-control assistant, Siri, on Apple iPhones. Each of the different devices that were included in the study were assigned a distraction ratio between one and five, with one standing for the least distraction and five standing for the greatest amount of distraction.

Siri, the virtual voice-controlled assistant on Apple phones, did the worst of any of the devices tested. It received a distraction score of 4.14. On a simulated driving course, several motorists who were trying to use Siri to accomplish tasks were so focused on what they were doing with their phones that they ended up rear-ending the vehicle that was in front of them.

Out of the infotainment systems that were included in the study, the MyLink was found to be the most distracting of the systems. This system received a distraction score of 3.7. While the other in-vehicle systems performed slightly better than this one, all of the voice-controlled electronics were found to be more of a distraction for drivers than simply using a cell phone or a manually-controlled system would have been.

The bottom line is, it is not using your hands that causes the problem but devoting your brain energy to something other than the road. A recent article on Forbes discussed just how ineffective people are at multitasking. You are not able to focus effectively or accomplish your tasks as quickly or easily if you try to do multiple things at once. Further, people who are the most likely to multitask on a regular basis are actually the worst of all at multitasking.

According to Forbes, frequently trying to do multiple things at once can actually have a long-term negative effect on brain function. You become less able to filter out irrelevant information, less able to recall information, less able to concentrate your focus on one particular task, and less able to effectively change tasks. This could suggest that drivers who are the most likely to be multitasking and distracted are even more dangerous than initially expected since they are likely to be less focused in general than other motorists.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit http://www.matthewsandmegna.com. Serving the entire Florence, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and Pee Dee, SC area. 

Are More Columbia Collision Victims Getting Legal Help With Insurance Claims?

Private insurance companies cover approximately half of all costs arising out of motor vehicle collisions. Charities and healthcare providers pay 14 percent of motor vehicle crash expenditures, and government revenue pays the remaining costs according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIAA)

People who turn to insurance companies to pay crash costs may face significant challenges. The American Association for Justice published a report on the tactics of the 10 worst insurance companies, which include some of the largest insurers in the country. These insurers employ practices of “deny, delay and defend,” with the goal of depriving victims of having losses covered and paying out as little as possible when claims do get paid.

The good news is, a report from the Insurance Research Council reveals that more victims are getting help from a personal injury lawyer to deal with these troublesome insurance tactics and recover the money they deserve. While the Insurance Research Council tries to present this as a negative development, the fact is that having an attorney can be very helpful to a car accident victim.

Attorneys are Helping More Collision Victims

The most significant increase in the percent of collision victims seeking representation has occurred among victims who are making personal injury protection (PIP) claims. In 1977, 17 percent of PIP claimants had a lawyer. In 2007, 31 percent were represented and in 2012, 36 percent were represented.

At the same time as the percentage of represented claimants has risen, the average claimed economic losses of victims have also gone up. The RMIIA reports an eight percent annualized increase in claimed losses for PIP claims.

The number of victims making a bodily injury claim who seek representation has also increased but not by nearly as much. In 1977, 47 percent of bodily injury claimants had a lawyer. In 2007, 49 percent of claimants had an attorney and in 2012, half of claimants had a motor vehicle collision lawyer representing them.

An increase in claimed losses has also happened for bodily injury claims, but the increase is a smaller one. From 2007 to 2012, the average claimed losses made by bodily injury claimants rose four percent.

The Insurance Research Council suggests that it is bad for more people to be represented by lawyers. One of their big argument is that it takes longer for victims to resolve claims. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. Insurers may try to use high pressure tactics to get victims to accept low sums of money and settle cases really quickly before the extent of injuries is clear. A delay to allow time for a proper diagnosis and for an attorney to negotiate a more favorable settlement may be something the insurers want to avoid, but it is definitely better for the collision victim.

The data also shows that claimants represented by a lawyer may be more likely to get an MRI than those victims not represented by a lawyer. Getting proper medical testing for an accurate diagnosis is also a good thing for covered claimants, despite the insurer’s unhappiness at having to actually pay for covered services.

Contact Columbia, SC injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit http://www.matthewsandmegna.com

Columbia, SC Drivers Making Unsafe Choices

A survey of 2000 drivers found that 46 percent of motorists said they had driven once or twice in the past year at a time when they were concerned it was not safe for them to operate their vehicle. This troubling statistic comes from a recent survey conducted by CarInsurance.com. The same survey found that 11 percent of respondents said they had driven despite safety concerns somewhere between three and 10 times over the course of the year. Three percent said that there were 10 or more times they had gotten behind the wheel when they felt they shouldn’t. 

When a driver operates his vehicle at a time that it is not safe for him to do so, he endangers himself and he endangers others. An experienced personal injury lawyer should be consulted by victims of any accidents that result from driver negligence.

Drivers are Making Unsafe Choices

There were many different behaviors reported by drivers who said they had gotten behind the wheel despite safety concerns. Of the drivers who admitted to driving when they felt they should not do so:

  • 68 percent were concerned they were too sleepy yet drove anyway.
  • 53 percent said they had a headache but still drove.
  • 35 percent said they got up to drive despite the fact that they were so sick they felt they should have stayed in bed.
  • 23 percent said that they thought they were too intoxicated but they drove because they were not as drunk as a friend.
  • 16 percent drove despite not having glasses or contacts that they needed to see.
  • 15 percent said they drove even though they were on narcotic pain medication.
  • Eight percent said they drove when they had their arm in a cast.

Drivers also reported that they operated their vehicles even when they were concerned that the car had mechanical problems. A motorist who chooses to drive an unsound and unsafe car can also be held responsible for the consequences. The motorists who drove despite concerns about the car’s features included:

  • 61 percent who had a check engine light on.
  • 32 percent who couldn’t see because of too much snow or ice on the windshield.
  • 36 percent who had windshield wipers that didn’t work.
  • 21 percent who had broken speedometers.
  • 19 percent who had horns that didn’t function.
  • 18 percent who had headlights that did not work.
  • 17 percent who had a flat tire.
  • 10 percent who had a door that actually had to be held closed so it did not open.
  • Seven percent who had a child in the car but who had no child safety seat as required.
  • Six percent who had a vehicle that was filled with exhaust fumes
  • Five percent who had either no driver’s seat or a broken driver’s seat

These are serious risks, but drivers choose to operate vehicles with these major problems. Drivers indicated that they drove when they felt they shouldn’t as a result of a need to get to work; to return home; to visit a doctor or to pick up their children. Unfortunately, there is never a reason to get behind the wheel and put your life at risk.

Contact Columbia, SC injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700

Staying Safe from Summer Motorcycle Collisions in Columbia

Recently a motorcyclist was killed and two others were injured in a Tennessee accident. According to News Channel 5, the accident may have started because of a blown out tire that sent a truck into the motorcyclist’s lane. The collision, unfortunately, is likely to be one of many motorcycle accidents that occur over the summer. 

The risk of motorcycle collisions during the summer months cannot be understated. As recent reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate, the number of motorcycle accident deaths has been steadily on the rise. Motorcyclists also face a significantly greater chance of being killed in a collision than those in passenger vehicles or trucks.

Both motorcycle riders and those in cars and trucks should do their part to try to prevent motorcycle collisions. When accidents do occur, victims or their family members need to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand their legal options.

Bad News for Motorcycle Riders

The NHTSA report on 2012 motorcycle accidents had lots of bad news for motorcycle riders:

  • In 2012, 4,957 people were killed in motorcycle accidents. This was a seven percent increase over the 4,630 people who lost their lives in 2011.
  • The motorcycle driver was most likely to be killed in motorcycle crashes. Operators of motorcycles accounted for 93 percent of people killed on motorcycles and passengers made up just seven percent of the fatalities.
  • The majority of deadly motorcycle collisions involved another vehicle. In total, 52 percent of deadly crashes were multiple vehicle accidents.
  • Accidents were likely to occur when drivers in the other vehicle were turning left. A total of 41 percent of deadly motorcycle accidents happened under these circumstances.
  • In 23 percent of motorcycle collisions, the motorcyclist and the other vehicle involved in the accident were both going straight.

Motorcycle accident deaths have been on an upward trajectory and motorcyclists account for a disproportionate number of people who are killed in collisions. Although motorcycles account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles in the country, 15 percent of people who die in motor vehicle crashes are on a motorcycle at the time. Motorcyclists are 26 times as likely to die in a collision as people in other vehicles.

The roads are a risky place for bikers but they don’t have to be. Both motorcycle riders and drivers can try to take steps to reduce the risk of accidents. For example:

  • All drivers and motorcyclists should avoid high-risk behaviors such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while distracted or driving while they are drowsy.
  • Drivers and motorcyclists should travel at a safe rate of speed for current conditions and should ensure they do not exceed the speed limit.
  • Motorcycle riders need to use both turn signals and hand signals to ensure drivers understand their intentions. Riding in the center of the lane is also advisable to maximize the chances a driver will see you.
  • Drivers should look twice before changing lanes or making a left turn to ensure that they are not cutting off or striking a motorcyclist. Motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see and drivers need to be on the lookout.

If motorcyclists and drivers make it a point to be as careful as possible on the road and to obey all safety rules, hopefully the number of collisions will decrease.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit http://www.matthewsandmegna.com

Teen Risks Lead to Student Accidents in South Carolina

In South Carolina, News 4 recently reported on the death of a 19-year-old teenager who was thrown from a vehicle after the car he was riding in went out of control.   He is one of many young people to die in motor vehicle collisions each year. Among high school and college students ages 13 to 19, motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of death. In 2012, 2,439 teenagers were killed in collisions compared with 1,927 young people who lost their lives in homicides and 1,863 teens who took their own lives.

Determining the cause of student accidents is important, because drivers can be held accountable when they make choices that cause injury or death. An experienced attorney at Matthews & Megna, LLC can represent clients who have suffered injury and help them obtain compensation for losses.

Understanding the Dangers that Teenagers Face

General Motors recently conducted an in-depth study on teen car accidents. More than 1,000 teenagers were interviewed from across the United States. The results of the research showed:

  • 56 percent of teens killed in motor vehicle collisions were driving at the time and 44 percent were passengers when they were killed.
  • One out of four teenagers admitted to not buckling up every single time they were in the car. Teens didn’t buckle up if they were driving too short of a distance, or because they were not in the habit of wearing a seat belt. Some young people also did not buckle up because they found seat belts uncomfortable.
  • Around 50 percent of the teen fatalities involved young people who were not buckled up at the time of their death. A teen sitting in the front seat of a car who is buckled up is 45 percent less likely to die in a collision compared to someone who is not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.
  • 73 percent of teenagers who admitted they did not buckle up regularly also admitted to texting and driving. Just 52 percent of teens who always wore their seat belts said that they texted and drove.
  • A total of 57 percent of teenagers who responded to the survey reported being in the car with a parent who was talking on his phone while driving, and another 28 percent said that they had been in a car with a parent who was texting.
  • 39 percent of teen drivers said they had been a passenger in a car with a teenage driver who was texting, and 43 percent had been a passenger in a car with a teenage driver who was talking on a phone.
  • 49 percent of teenagers reported they had been a passenger in a vehicle with a teen driver who they felt was operating the car in an unsafe way. Another 31 percent of teens indicated that they had been driving in a car with a parent who was behaving in an unsafe way. Despite the risk, only four in 10 teens said that they spoke up when they felt unsafe.

The data shows that many collisions could be prevented if teenagers kept their phones put away, if they buckled up at all times and if they spoke up when their friends acted in dangerous ways behind the wheel.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna, LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700 or visit http://www.matthewsandmegna.com

Early 401(K) Withdrawals Replacing Home Equity as Source of Cash

Many individuals today have problems paying their monthly bills, especially if they are in debt or become unemployed. Home equity loans provided the solution for a long time when property values were rapidly rising and when it was easy to borrow against the equity in your home.  The collapse of the housing bubble and the mortgage market crisis in 2008 put an end to the use of the home equity loan as a piggy bank or source of fast money to handle debts or financial emergencies. Now, Newsmax reports that people who need money are instead turning to their 401(k) accounts to get the cash they need. Unfortunately, this is a risky idea for many reasons. 

You should not take money out of a 401(K) to pay back debts, because your 401(K) is protected in a bankruptcy filing. Bankruptcy lawyers in Columbia, SC can help you to understand your options when you cannot pay your bills. If you have already taken money out of your 401(K) in the form of a 401(K) loan, you also need to understand how this will impact your bankruptcy.

The Problems with Tapping Into a 401(K) for Cash

There are a few different ways that you can use a 401(K) loan to get access to cash when you need it. One option you have is to just take money out of the account. This is usually the worst of your alternatives because you will be hit with taxes and penalties, thus losing a good chunk of your investment. If you simply take money out, you also jeopardize your retirement because that money is not in there to grow and provide for your future.

Another option is to borrow from your 401(K) and pay yourself back with interest. You can borrow as much as 50 percent of your vested account balance, up to a maximum of $50,000. If you do not use the money to buy a primary home, you have to pay back the loan within five years. If you leave your job, you will generally be required to pay back the loan in full within 60 days. This is one of the biggest risks of taking a 401(K) loan because if you are laid off or fired, you could be faced with a huge repayment expense at a time when you absolutely won’t have all that extra cash to spare.

Taking out a 401(K) loan is a better choice than simply cashing out your 401(K) but is still going to put your retirement at risk because you could end up just having to cash out if you lose your job. A 401(K) loan is also not going to be discharged in bankruptcy because it cannot be treated as a regular loan.

401(K)s are treated differently depending upon whether you file  Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, but you generally will need to continue to make payments on the loan and pay it back even after your filing. Your attorney can explain to you how your 401(K) loan will be treated during your bankruptcy filing.

Contact Columbia bankruptcy lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700. 

Columbia Drunk Driving Accident Risks a Spring Focus

In 2012, 358 people in the state of South Carolina were killed in motor vehicle collisions involving impaired drivers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) indicates that this was a 16 percent increase compared with the number of DUI fatalities in 2011. MADD also indicates that South Carolina is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to impaired driving.  

Drunk driving accident lawyers in Columbia, SC represent victims who sustain car accident injuries in collisions with impaired motorists and know the devastation these accidents can cause. It is important to do everything possible to stop motorists from driving while intoxicated and causing serious harm to themselves or others. One way to do that is to develop a better understanding of who is driving drunk so education and enforcement campaigns can be better targeted to at-risk motorists.

Who is Driving While Impaired?

Research has been done to provide insight into which drivers are most likely to operate their vehicles when they are impaired. The Century Council published a report on the rise of female drunk drivers and on the differences between male and female motorists when it comes to intoxication. The report showed:

  • Road research has consistently demonstrated over the years that drunk driving is primarily done by males, but in the past three decades there have been a growing number of women driving drunk. Changes in social norms, changes in female roles and changes in social control mechanisms may all contribute to explaining the rise in impaired female motorists.
  • The number of female DWI arrests has risen on a national level by 28.8 percent between 1998 and 2007.  In 1980, only nine percent of DUI-arrestees were female. By 2004, 20 percent of the individuals arrested were women.
  • The percent of female drunk drivers in fatal collisions was 12 percent in the 1980’s, 13 percent in the 1990s and 14 percent in the 2000’s.
  • The percentage of female drivers who tested positive for any amount of alcohol in fatal collisions was 18 percent in 2005 and 16 percent in 2009.
  • In 2008, 1,837 fatalities in crashes involved an alcohol-impaired female driver.

Women, therefore, are still less likely than men to drive while intoxicated. Among those women who do drive drunk, many have been found to a substantial addiction problem. Women face addiction not only to alcohol but also to sedatives and other drugs.

Knowing that men are the most likely DUI offenders is only part of understanding who drives drunk most often. Politifact also recently looked at the assertion that the majority of drunk-driving deaths and injuries were caused by first-time offenders with no prior record of driving impaired.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving had made this statement, which Politifact declared to be true.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed MADD’s assertion because 93 percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions who have a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher did not have a prior drunk driving conviction in the past three years.

By considering this information about who is most likely to drive drunk and cause accidents, hopefully steps can be taken to educate high-risk drivers and better enforce rules against drunk driving to bring down the number of injuries and deaths.

Contact Columbia injury lawyers at Matthews & Megna LLC by calling 1-803-799-1700.