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Top 10 Resolutions We’d Like to See in 2014

Published on Jan 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm in News & Community.

As we contemplate in a young 2014, we thought it would be a good idea to publish a list of the top 10 resolutions we wish everyone would consider in the upcoming year. Here they are – in no particular order:

  1. No more texting while driving. Distracted driving is responsible for way too many motor vehicle crashes, injuries and deaths each year. Let’s all stop texting while driving and pay attention to the road.
  2. Pay it forward. Many of us have benefited from the assistance of another, whether it was a dedicated mentor, a relative or perfect stranger. If you have received help in the past, help someone now.
  3. Say thank you. There are a lot of people in “thankless” professions out there. When is the last time you thanked a teacher, firefighter, police officer or solider for their service? A simple thank you can go a long way.
  4. Keep it clean. Our new offices are in an area of Columbia that is being revitalized, and we are proud to be part of improving the area. Studies have shown that when people have pride in the places they live, they don’t litter and take better care of the area. Let’s all work to improve our environments.
  5. Donate to a local food bank each month. There are still a lot of people out there – including children and seniors – who go hungry. If you can help by donating canned goods or giving a financial donation, these folks will surely appreciate it.
  6. Read to your kids or volunteer to read at a local school. Literacy is so important to success. Let’s ensure everyone has a solid foundation. (There are also organizations that work to teach adults to read, if that’s of more interest.)
  7. Exercise your right to vote. Research the issues and candidates before each election and get out and vote in each and every election (not just presidential elections).
  8. Recycle it. If you can recycle items, please do! Let’s preserve the Earth for our children and grandchildren.
  9. Write (or update) your will. You may think that if you are young or you don’t have many assets you don’t need a will. Having a will and advance directives like a living will and healthcare power of attorney in place can make things significantly easier for your loved ones in the event you become incapacitated or die unexpectedly.
  10. Share the love. No one ever knows how long they have in this life. Take every opportunity to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.

We hope you have a productive and wonderful 2014!

 

What is Distracted Driving?

Published on Nov 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm in Auto Safety.

Columbia Auto Accident Lawyers Distracted driving is defined as engaging in any activity that takes your attention off the road when you are operating a motor vehicle. In short, if you are driving, your entire focus should be on this task. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers things like texting, reading, looking at a map, adjusting a radio or GPS tool, watching a video, eating, drinking, using a phone, putting on makeup, shaving, or talking to passengers to be distractions. This is only a partial list; there are many things can take your attention away from driving. As car accident attorneys in Columbia, we have seen and heard far too many stories of those injured or killed by distracted drivers.

Most people have seen the public service announcements with movie and television stars promising not to text while driving. And maybe you have wondered why it’s such a big deal – after all, most of us have been guilty at some point of driving while engaging in the activities listed above. Research shows that distracted driving accounts for numerous injury and fatal crashes each year. Here are some statistics from the NHTSA to make you think:

  1. In 2011 in the United States, 3,331 people were killed in crashes attributed to distracted driving; another 387,000 were injured.
  2. Distracted driving accounted for 10% of all injury crashes.
  3. Teens age 15-19 were the group with the highest fatality rate in distracted driving crashes (specifically the use of mobile devices) at 21%.
  4. Of the activities above, texting while driving is thought to be the highest risk because it requires the driver’s “visual, manual and cognitive” attention.

Distracted driving laws often differ by state, and can differ by county or city; these laws are updated on a regular basis. As of the time of the writing of this post, in South Carolina, Columbia bans texting while driving but there is no statewide ban. South Carolina does recognize distracted driving as a contributing factor in crashes. North Carolina prohibits all drivers from texting or emailing while driving; in addition, provisional drivers and bus drivers are not permitted to use cell phones while driving.

So what can you do to help prevent more injuries or deaths due to distracted driving? If you are driving, commit to focusing your full attention on the road and your surroundings. Get up earlier and eat breakfast before you leave so you aren’t distracted in the car. Call your friend when you get home instead of in the car on the drive home. Whatever tasks you think need to be done immediately can generally wait until you get to your destination. You should also assume that at least some others on the road around you are distracted and drive defensively.

While we love our clients, we would prefer to have everyone safe. If you have been injured in a car accident in South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia caused by a distracted driver or due to any other factor, call us today and talk with a Columbia, SC car wreck attorney to schedule a free consultation so you may learn your rights.

 

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