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Myrtle Beach Legal Blog

Morgue visits demonstrate consequences to teens

South Carolina parents and educators may be interested in a program designed to reduce high-risk behaviors commonly associated with teens and other young drivers. Statistics show that teens are more likely than the general population to engage in speeding and alcohol and drug use while operating a vehicle. These unsafe behaviors are part of the reason motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of deaths among teenagers in the United States.

Researchers from Baylor University worked with a hospital, the court system and educators to identify teens targeted for disciplinary action. In lieu of other punishment, teens with drivers' licenses were given the option of participating in a one-day class designed to raise awareness regarding unsafe driving practices and the potential consequences of such behavior. Students in the study were administered a questionnaire prior to the class that was designed to identify high-risk driving behavior. Ninety percent of the class admitted to texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel within 30 days of the class.

Roundabouts could help reduce injury crashes

When people drive in the Myrtle Beach area, they may encounter some dangerous intersections, particularly as they travel into rural areas. Some rural roads have stop signs at their junction points, despite having speed limits of up to 55 mph. When visibility is reduced due to weather or vegetation, car accidents can be even more common at these locations. Because drivers are traveling at a high rate of speed, the effects of these crashes can be serious and damaging.

One solution that has frequently been used to address dangerous intersections has been the installation of traffic lights. These lights are proven to reduce the number of accidents at a particular intersection. However, they may do little to lessen the severity of the car crashes that do occur. This is one reason why many traffic engineers are considering the use of roundabouts or traffic circles. While there is less of a numerical reduction in the number of accidents, the crashes that happen are often less severe and far less likely to involve personal injuries or even fatalities.

Fatigue triples the risk of getting into a car accident

Drowsy drivers in South Carolina may not realize the risks that they are taking. Although most people recognize the dangers of drinking and driving, sleepiness impairs driving in a similar manner. Drowsiness reduces a driver's reaction times and ability to monitor the road. Twenty hours without sleep mimics the intoxication level of a person with a .08 blood alcohol concentration. For this reason, safety advocates say fatigue increases the chances of getting in a wreck by threefold.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drowsy driving causes approximately 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries every year. These figures, however, are dependent on police reports, and responding officers might not know that sleep deprivation impaired a driver. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association put the number of deaths at about 5,000 for 2015. When the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety looked at the problem, however, its researchers concluded that drowsy drivers were responsible for 109,000 injuries and 6,400 fatalities annually.

What happens when vacationers sustain injuries at an Airbnb?

Many residents of Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas have discovered the advantages of renting out their properties to vacationers. It has become an excellent way for hosts to make side income while tourists have a simple way to vacation without spending as much money as going to a regular hotel. 

However, as with many other innovations concerning technology, an airtight method has not quite been developed for how people go about settling claims when sustaining injuries at an Airbnb. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is critical to remain calm and follow a few key steps to go about the claims process smoothly. 

Pool safety for homeowners

Homeowners in South Carolina who have swimming pools should be aware of certain safety responsibilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 7.4 million swimming pools in the United States as well as 5 million hot tubs. The CDC also reports that 3,356 fatalities resulting from accidental non-boating drowning take place in the nation every year. For every child who is younger than 14 years old and dies from drowning, an additional five more children will have to receive some form of emergency medical care for nonfatal submersion.

Installing an alarm and a climb-resistant pool fence can help reduce some of the potential hazards. The two devices can prevent and warn off small children attempting to enter the pool without supervision as well as kids from the neighborhood who may sneak in.

Insurance data reveals that larger vehicles are safer

Motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities have increased sharply in South Carolina and around the country in recent years despite significant advances in automobile safety features and systems. Auto insurance rates are based on risk, and insurers use the results of federal crash tests and records kept by the Highway Loss Data Institute to set premiums and determine the effectiveness of vehicle safety systems.

Modern cars, trucks and SUVs protect their occupants with up to 10 airbags, and many luxury models feature autonomous electronic systems that take over in emergency situations to avoid a crash. However, even the most effective safety features cannot overcome the laws of physics. Larger and heavier vehicles provide more protection in a crash, and the HLDI figures reveal that the occupants of small sedans are twice as likely to submit medical payment claims. Very large pickup trucks have the lowest number of medical payment claims according to the HLDI.

Businesses responsible for keeping customers safe

When people in Myrtle Beach head to a store, movie theater or other public space, they don't expect to be injured during their trip. However, when business owners do not maintain their properties or clear away hazards, slip-and-fall accidents could pose a major risk. While many think of slip-and-fall accidents as minor problems resulting only in discomfort, people can be seriously injured, especially when falling from a significant distance or onto a hard or rocky surface. In addition, people with pre-existing disabilities may have extra reason to be concerned about the effect of such an accident.

There are a number of ways that people could be hurt in a business. Floors could be left wet and slippery with no warning sign to offer customers some notification of the need to protect themselves. Businesses may not pick up items scattered on the floor, leaving them as obstacles. The weather can also play a role in these types of accidents when a business fails to clear away ice and snow that could lead to slippery surfaces. Escalators and stairs present their own risks, especially if they are not properly maintained with mechanical defects or loose handrails.

Roller coaster derailment injures 9 people

Many South Carolina residents enjoy going to amusement parks and riding on roller coasters. While these rides are mostly safe, accidents sometimes occur. Recently, a roller coaster derailed in Daytona Beach, Florida, causing two people to fall 34 feet to the ground and leaving two others dangling from the ride until they were rescued.

According to news reports, the roller coaster had been inspected on the morning of the accident and passed its inspection. It was inspected a second time after the accident and found to be deficient because of a structural integrity problem. In two previous inspections in May, the roller coaster had failed because of several different deficiencies. However, those issues had been corrected before the accident.

Why drowsy driving isn't safer than drunk driving

It has been reported that 60 percent of adults in the United States have driven while drowsy. While South Carolina residents may not worry about driving while tired, it can be similar to driving while drunk. Those who have been awake for 24 straight hours are just as impaired as someone who has a blood alcohol content of .10 percent. In situations where someone is in a car with a drowsy driver, he or she may want to volunteer to drive.

If that is not possible, the driver should be encouraged to stop the car and take a nap. It can also be beneficial for someone to get a coffee or soda to help him or her perk up temporarily. Key signals that a driver is drowsy include excessive yawning or drifting out of the proper lane. Tired drivers may also have a hard time remembering where they are.

Drunk driving charges for rap celebrity Mac Miller

Myrtle Beach is full of people out to have fun and enjoy a good time, but some unwisely choose to get behind the wheel of a car after an evening at a club or bar. Drunk driving charges can be quite common even if they can carry severe penalties. On May 17, music star Mac Miller was arrested on drunk driving charges in California after he reportedly ran into a utility pole in the San Fernando Valley before driving away.

Miller, a 26-year-old rapper, is accused of driving his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon into the power pole in the early morning hours. The celebrity performer allegedly drove away from the scene at the time, but he was arrested shortly thereafter at his home. His visible license plates were matched to his home address by the Los Angeles Police Department. After he was taken into custody and charged with drunk driving, he was held on $15,000 bail. After paying the bond, he was released with a scheduled court appearance on June 7.

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