On Tuesday, I attended court with one of the nicest couples I have ever represented concerning the wrongful death of their daughter. This was the second child out of their four that had been killed in an automobile accident. This daughter was killed as a result of the combination of a drunk driver and a defective highway in Conway, South Carolina. Their story made me think of what we as a community can do to safeguard our families on the highways.
The top seven things you can do are:
1. Don’t drink alcohol and drive a vehicle. If you do, you are playing Russian roulette with your life and the life of innocent families.
2. Don’t talk or text on a cell phone while driving. A new study shows that talking on the phone distracts drivers to the same extent as having a blood-alcohol level of .08.
3. Sign a contract with your children which makes their driving a vehicle conditioned on: no alcohol, no cell phone use, and limiting the number of kids riding in their car. These three things greatly increase the chance of your child being involved in fatal accident. Call me if you want a sample contract.
4. If you see a reckless driver or someone who appears to be intoxicated, pull off the road and call 911, giving the Highway Patrol the tag number and location of the vehicle.
5. If you become aware of a store that is selling alcohol to minors or an adult providing alcohol to minors in order to be “cool ," contact my office at 800-704-5412 and I will make sure the appropriate law enforcement agency is notified to investigate. These irresponsible stores and adults are major contributors to thousands of deaths per year.
6. If you see a defective portion of highway, report it to the South Carolina DOT. Road defects cause numerous one-car fatalities each year. These defects can include: extreme potholes which cause loss of control; shoulders of the road which are more than 2 inches lower than the highway’s surface which cause over-correction accidents; and portions of the highway which have improper drainage causing water to stand and hydroplaning. Do not assume that the DOT knows of the problem. Call the SC DOT at 843-365-2130 to report road problems.
7. Drive defensively. My father, as well as all driver education teachers, always teach “drive defensively." In almost every case I handle, one party was driving legally and responsibly. My suggestion is to treat every vehicle that you face and every vehicle entering the roadway as a bullet and you are the target. You do not know if they are drunk or distracted, so you better assume the worst.
If you are injured in an accident, call Myrtle Beach Car Accident Injury Attorney Dirk Derrick for a free consultation. 843-248-7486.
Voted Best Attorney in Myrtle Beach and voted Best Attorney in Conway, SC by the readers of the Myrtle Beach Herald and the Horry Independent, Accident Lawyer Derrick has the experience and knowledge to get you the benefits you need.