Posts in Driving Safety

Hurricane Season Preparation

August 28th, 2018 Posted by Driving Safety, Personal Injury, Water Safety No Comment yet

June 1 marked the official start to hurricane season in South Carolina. While the immediate impact of hurricanes are often seen along the coast, those who live inland can also experience homes wrecked by storms and debris. NOAA and the National Hurricane Center released their annual report on what to expect during the 2018 season. An article written in the Post and Courier anticipates 3 potentially catastrophic storms this hurricane season. This being said, here is some advice on how to keep your home safe and prepared during hurricane season here in Charleston, SC.

Home Preparation

Board up your windows and doors with plywood as wind can cause debris to break a window or force open a door causing even greater damage.

Trim your trees before the start of a hurricane, especially limbs that hang close to your home.

Flood Insurance

Most major insurance companies offer flood insurance programs. However, some companies make it extremely difficult to get flood insurance if a storm has already formed. If you live in an area where floods are common, this should be a priority.

Evacuation Plan

Transportation: The DOT has developed routes to aid in hurricane evacuation. All of these routes can be found on the SCDOT page. Be sure to consult this information before a hurricane strikes so you can plan in advance and be ahead of the traffic. Also, make sure you fill up your gas tank before the storm hits. A lot of times long lines develop at gas stations and fuel runs dry. It’s important to fill up your tank up as soon as possible.

Short-Term Relocation: Be sure to have a place you can go if forced to evacuate. Having a contact out of town, whether its a family member or friend, is imperative. Keep them posted when a storm is coming and when you plan to evacuate.

What to Take:  When evacuating, it is important to remember all important documents, medications, and supplies needed for you, your family, and animals.  Make sure to take all prescription medications, drivers licenses/picture ids & bank cards, clothing, and supplies for pets, including food.

If you have any issues with insurance regarding weather related accidents or home damage, you may need an experienced attorney. We are always here to help: 843-225-2520.

 

Golf Cart Laws in South Carolina

February 13th, 2018 Posted by Driving Safety, Golf Carts No Comment yet

Golf carts are an enjoyable and easy means of transportation throughout neighborhoods in South Carolina. However, there are laws you must adhere to in order to drive a golf cart within legal limits.

What are the requirements to drive a golf cart?

  • South Carolina law states that in order to drive a golf cart you must be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license.
  • In order to operate a golf cart off of private property, including neighborhood roads, you must register and purchase a permit from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. The permit is only $5.00.

Where can I drive a golf cart?

  • Golf carts can be driven on secondary roads where the maximum speed limit is 35 MPH.
  • They cannot be driven on primary roads.
  • It depends on where you live. Some cities or counties allow you to go up to 4 miles outside of your house, while others local ordinances state that you must be within a two-mile radius of your house.

When can I drive a golf cart?

  • You can only drive a golf cart during the daylight hours. They are forbidden to be driven during nighttime.

Can I get a DUI on a golf cart?

  • YES. Do not operate a golf cart while driving under the influence. If pulled over, you will face the same charges as a driver of a car would.

Golf carts are intended for short trips at low speeds. When operating your golf cart on a residential road, never exceed the speed limit and stay aware of other vehicles on the road. If you or a loved one is involved in a golf cart accident or if you have any more questions about golf cart laws in South Carolina, please contact us for a free consultation at 843-225-2520.

Do I Have to Wear a Helmet on My Motorcycle in South Carolina?

June 29th, 2017 Posted by Driving Safety No Comment yet
Motorcycles can be a source of fun and excitement for thrill seekers and casual cruisers alike. In South Carolina, it is important to note that you MUST wear a helmet if you are under the age of 21. For riders who are a little bit older though, it isn’t required. So, the short answer is no.

As a personal injury attorney, I have seen my fair share of injuries from motorcycles, and 9 times out of 10 the injuries are very serious.  That said, I firmly believe it’s imperative that motorcyclists of all ages wear a helmet.

The MAIDS report (2009) says in a study of motorcycle accidents “…67% of all cases, the helmet was capable of preventing or reducing the head injury sustained by the rider”

Here are some quick statistics from the CDC about wearing motorcycle helmets.
   •  Helmets saved an estimated 1,630 lives and $2.8 billion in economic costs in 2013.
   •  The United States could have saved an additional $1.1 billion in 2013 if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.1
   •  Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37%
   •  Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%

Common injuries while motorcycling without a helmet include:
   •  Concussions
   •  Facial fractures
   •  Brain injuries
   •  Spinal cord damage
   •  Compound bone fractures
   •  Road rash and severe lacerations
   •  Burns
   •  Organ damage and internal bleeding
   •  Death

Please, practice safe driving on your motorcycle and by all means, WEAR A HELMET!

IMO, Texting while Driving is no LOL matter!

May 5th, 2017 Posted by Driving Safety No Comment yet
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with new laws that affect our everyday lives; that’s where lawyers can be helpful!  It’s our job to know what the current laws are to keep you safe.

Studies say distracted driving is just as dangerous a drinking four beers and driving a car. While some cities and counties realized this long ago and already had ordinances on the book, it took the State of South Carolina a bit longer to realize the need for a law specifically addressing texting while driving.

In 2014, Gov. Nikki Haley signed Senate Bill 459 dictating the penalties and definition for “Unlawful use of a wireless electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle”.  A driver’s first offense for texting while driving is a $25 penalty and any subsequent offense is $50.  Dialing and talking on the phone are not banned under the new law.

If convicted, the law prevents the violation from being reported to the DMV, SLED, or the driver’s insurance provider.

Like all other moving violations, the officer must have “probable cause that a violation has occurred based on the officer’s clear and unobstructed view of a person who is using a wireless electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this State” to pull your car over.  At court, the officer is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the officer cannot confiscate your phone to meet this burden of proof.  Also of note, the officer cannot search your car without your consent based solely on the fact that this violation occurred.

The dangers of texting while driving can lead to a time-consuming court date, not to mention, a severe injury to yourself or others.  To legally text in your car, the vehicle must be stopped or parked.

If you have any more questions, feel free to call me at (843) 225-2520 or email info@peperlawfirm.com

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