Posts Tagged ‘Columbia injury lawyer’

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 Serving the entire Florence, Darlington, Columbia, Midlands and Pee Dee, SC area. 

Columbia Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash Prevention Benefit of New Initiative

A South Carolina bicycle crash nearly killed a cyclist in Greenville recently, after state troopers say he was struck by a pickup truck while attempting to cross the road.  It was believed at first that the cyclist would not survive, but authorities now say he is likely to pull through. 

Our accident lawyers in Columbia, SC understand that such incidents are at the core of why legislators are aggressively working to pass the Safe Streets Act of 2014, also known as S. 2004. The measure would require all federally-funded road construction projects to follow the guidelines set forth by the Complete Streets model.

Whereas many of today’s current transportation infrastructure is focused on safety and efficiency for motor vehicle drivers, the Complete Streets initiative focuses on ensuring better streets for all travelers, with specific care paid to bicyclists, pedestrians and those using public transportation.

Aging “baby boomer” generation leads to increase in pedestrian traffic

Pedestrian safety will only grow more important over the next decade or two, as the baby boomer population ages. Those who have reached a point where they can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle must rely more heavily upon public transportation and walking.

The baby boom generation is the largest in U.S. history, and in 2011, the first wave turned 65. The last of these will not reach age 65 until 2030.

What’s more, The Atlantic recently published an article referencing a study last year by the National Alliance for Biking and Walking that indicated the southern U.S. states are the most dangerous per biker per miles traveled – by a wide margin.

For example, if you ride a bicycle in South Carolina, you are 10 times more likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle than if you rode a bike in Oregon (one of the country’s safer states for cycling). In North Carolina, you are eight times more likely to die. In Mississippi, you are 13 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury on a bicycle.

Can South Carolina do more to prevent pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities?

A recent report on transportation spending, conducting by the Advocacy Advance, discovered that southern states as a whole spend the least on biking and walking safety infrastructure. Where Massachusetts allocated more than 5 percent of its transportation budget to pedestrian and bicycling facilities, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Louisiana and Florida spent one half of one percent of their total transportation budget on the same.

This is despite the fact that bicyclist fatalities increased 9 percent from 2010 to 2011. This increase occurred even though overall motor vehicle fatalities have been on a steady decrease over the last several years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that nearly 680 bicyclists were killed across the U.S. in 2011, and another nearly 50,000 were injured. A third of these incidents happened in a rural setting.

The average age of pedalcyclist fatalities in 2011 was 43. The average injured was 32. These are both sharp increases from what we saw in 2002, when the average age was 36 for bicycle fatalities and 28 for injuries.

The Safe Streets Act, which is currently before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, would require all states to become compliant within two years of passage.

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