Nearly Half of All Fatal Crashes in SC Result from Drunk Driving

South Carolina Ranks #2 Worst Drivers in United States as a Result of Drunk Driving Statistics

Car crashes are a leading cause of death in the US and were expected to cause around 40,000 deaths by the end of 2018.

To put it plainly, America’s roads are dangerous. Texting behind the wheel is a major reason for many traffic fatalities, and it’s only getting worse. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed by distracted driving. Plus, cheap gas and a strong economy means America’s 222 million licensed drivers are driving more than ever. More people on the road leads to more accidents and citations.

South Carolina was ranked No. 2 on QuoteWizard’s list for “Best and Worst Drivers” across the United States. Last year, the State of South Carolina came in at No. 4, but an increase in DUIs brought it up in the rankings. Nearly half of all fatal crashes in South Carolina are because of drunk driving, according to the study. Drivers can blame an increase in DUIs for the jump from last year’s rank as the fourth worst drivers to the second worst drivers this year.

However, South Carolina didn’t nab the top spot when it comes to bad drivers — that was Maine; with Nebraska, California and North Dakota rounding out the Top 5.

Rankings for this study by QuoteWizard was determined by accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, citations and fatalities in each state throughout the year.

The Goings Law Firm is committed to fighting drunk drivers in Court for the harm their cause to innocent people on the roads.  We have been awarded large verdicts and settlements for our clients against drunk drivers, and if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation.  Call us today at (803) 350-9230 for a Free Consultation to see if we can help you.


Alcohol-Impaired Driving Results in Fatalities or Serious Injuries in South Carolina

South Carolina ranks as the 2nd worst in DUI related fatalities in the nation based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Drunk drivers kill innocent people, or result in serious injuries that have devastating effects on families.

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in South Carolina with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. In fact, all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have by law set a threshold making it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher.

In 2017 there were 10,874 people killed in alcohol-impaired- driving crashes, an average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes. These alcohol- impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 29 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States in 2017. Of the 10,874 people who died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2017, there were 6,618 drivers (61%) who had BACs of .08 g/dL or higher. The remaining fatalities consisted of 3,075 motor vehicle occupants (28%) and 1,181 nonoccupants (11%). 

Based on national data related to alcohol impaired driving in 2017, the NHTSA has set forth the following “key findings:

-Key Findings-

  • In 2017 there were 10,874 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher. This totaled 29 percent of all traffic fatalities for the year. (Note: It is illegal in every State to drive with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher.)
  • An average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 48 minutes in 2017.
  • The estimated economic cost of all alcohol-impaired crashes (involving alcohol-impaired drivers or alcohol- impaired nonoccupants) in the United States in 2010 (the most recent year for which cost data is available) was $44 billion.
  • Of the traffic fatalities in 2017 among chil- dren 14 and younger, 19 percent occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
  • The 21- to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage (27%) of drivers with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher in fatal crashes compared to other age groups in 2017.
  • The percentage of drivers with BACs
    of .08 g/dL or higher in fatal crashes in 2017 was highest for fatalities involving motorcycle riders (27%), comparedto passenger cars (21%), light trucks (20%), and large trucks (3%).
  • The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2017 was 3.6 times higher at night than during the day.
  • In 2017 among the 10,874 alcohol- impaired-driving fatalities, 68 percent (7,368) were in crashes in which at least one driver had a BAC of .15 g/dL or higher.

There is some good new too — Fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes decreased by 1.1 percent (10,996 to 10,874 fatalities) from 2016 to 2017. Alcohol- impaired-driving fatalities in the past 10 years have declined by 7 percent from 11,711 in 2008 to 10,874 in 2017. The national rate of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle crashes in 2017 was 0.34 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT), down from 0.35 in 2016. The alcohol-impaired-driving fatality rate in the past 10 years has declined by 13 percent, from 0.39 in 2008 to 0.34 in 2017.

At the Goings Law Firm, we believe that one DUI related fatality is one too many. Drinking and driving have consequences, and it’s our mission to make sure at the drunk driver pays for the injuries and harm they inflict on the innocent. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a drunk driver related motor vehicle crash, call us today for a free, no obligation, consultation– the number is 803-350-9230.

Source: National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2018, November). Alcohol- impaired driving: 2017 data (Traffic Safety Facts. Report No. DOT HS 812 630). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812630


Workers Comp: What if I can’t return to work?

What happens if I can’t return to work?

A common question we get is “What happens if I cannot return to work due to my work injury.”  The fear of not being able to return to work is a real concern if you have been involved in a work related injury.  Often we counsel with people who have given their best years to an employer only to end up with a debilitating injury caused by their work.  Like any hard working individual, they are concerned with their ability to recover and get back to work as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, many individuals suffer injuries so bad that they are no longer able to meet the work requirements of their job.  Sometimes these injured workers are ill informed that their injury is limited to a recovery solely based on the injured body part.  The insurance company, or its attorney, will try to hurriedly rush an injured worker into a settlement that neither represents the fully injured body part or takes into account their inability to return back to work.  Many injured workers will reluctantly accept a quick settlement only to find out they don’t have a job to be able to return to and can’t support their family.

Fortunately, the South Carolina Workers Compensation Laws provide a mechanism where injured workers can receive an award to address their inability to return to their job instead of just the injured body part.  To be eligible for wage loss the worker must be able to demonstrate they meet the necessary elements of a wage loss claim.  If left to handle these complicated issues by themselves, injured workers may end up without the benefit of the law, or worse miss the requirements to be eligible for wage loss recovery.  At the Goings Law Firm we routinely assist injured workers to determine if they may be eligible for a wage loss recovery.   To determine if you need help with a workers’ compensation injury contact Attorney and Workers’ Compensation Managing Partner Christian E. Boesl with the Goings Law Firm.  Let us help you get the medical treatment you deserve to back to work, or get the money you are entitled to receive if you are unable to return to your job.


Drivers in Columbia SC are Speeders, 2018 Study Shows

We find that car collision are often caused by drivers who are breaking the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of car accidents in Columbia, South Carolina, and a new study may explain why–  Columbia drivers are heavy-footed Speeders!

A new study ranks drivers in Columbia, South Carolina as among the fastest drivers in the United States.  Columbia ranked 6th in the top 25, with drivers who break the speed limit.  Charleston ranked 9th and Greenville, SC ranked 11th in the study.  The study was published by QuoteWizard, an online insurance comparison website.  QuoteWizard analyzed self-reported data from users on driving infractions, which includes speeding tickets. These rankings are based on over one million data points on speeding infractions from 2017. Cities ranked ‘speediest’ have the highest rate of speeding tickets per driver.  A more detailed look at the study can be found here:  more detailed looks at the fastest specific markets is available here: https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/fastest-driving-cities-2018

From faster to slower, these are the top 25 fastest driving cities in the US:

1. Wichita
2. Omaha
3. Boise
4. Portland
5. Richmond
6. Columbia, SC
7. Salt Lake City
8. Minneapolis
9. Charleston, SC
10. Virginia Beach
11. Greenville, SC
12. Charlotte
13. Durham
14. Columbus
15. Kansas City
16. Bay Area
17. Riverside

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Katie Arrington – fatal collision in Charleston

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Katie Arrington, and the family of the deceased driver in a fatal collision that occurred in Charleston County on Friday night, June 22, 2018

Katie Arrington, a representative in the State House for the Lowcountry and a U.S. congressional candidate, was seriously injured in a fatal car wreck Friday night.   The driver of the vehicle that collided with Arrington’s car was killed on the scene, according to Mount Pleasant’s WCBD.  Reportedly, the collision occurred when the driver that was killed was driving on the wrong side of the road, striking Arrington.

Arrington won the Republican primary for the House of Representative (1st District) seat, defeating incumbent Mark Sanford.  She was traveling with a friend on U.S. Highway 17 when a driver traveling in the wrong lane collided with the vehicle Arrington was in.

Arrington “sustained a fracture in her back and several broken ribs, as well as injuries that required Katie to undergo major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon,” according to a statement released Saturday morning via her Twitter account. She is expected to remain in the hospital for at least two weeks, according to the statement, which read:

“Last night, Katie Arrington and her friend were traveling to Hilton Head, where Katie was scheduled to receive an award from a state medical organization this morning. Katie was the passenger in the car traveling southbound on Highway 17, when a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction — northbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 17 — struck the vehicle containing Katie and her friend. Katie sustained a fracture in her back and several broken ribs, as well as injuries that required Katie to undergo major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon. Additionally, the main artery in her legs has a partial collapse and will require a (stent). Additional surgeries will be required including one likely today; and it is likely that Katie will remain hospitalized for the next two weeks.  As we all know, Katie Arrington is an extremely strong woman and has tremendous faith and an incredibly supportive family. And it is from her strong faith, the support of her family, the prayers and support of our community, and the incredible doctors and staff at the hospital that she is certain she will be back to work for our state soon. As her family asked last night, Katie asks for your continued prayers for the deceased and the deceased’s family, as well as prayers for a quick recovery for Katie and her friend.”


Indiana man was tragically killed when a tractor trailer struck the construction lift he was operating on I-77 in Columbia, South Carolina

Photo of Tractor Trailer Truck

On Wednesday morning June 20, 2018, a 40-year-old Indiana man was tragically killed when a tractor trailer struck the construction lift he was operating on I-77 South in Columbia.  The crash happened just after 5 a.m. on I-77 South near the Blythewood Road exit, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The collision involved a tractor-trailer and a piece of construction lift equipment, according to Lance Cpl. David Jones of the Highway Patrol. The tractor-trailer was traveling south on I-77 when it hit the construction equipment, which was moving in the southbound lanes, Jones said.  It was reported that the driver of the construction equipment was trying to cross from the median to the shoulder of the road, Jones said. When he was hit by the truck, he was thrown from the bucket of his equipment and killed.

Officials have identified the worker killed in an accident on I-77 as Nathaniel B. Deaton, 40, of Martinsburg, Indiana. Deaton was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy indicated the cause of death to be blunt force injuries suffered in the collision, says Richland County coroner Gary Watts.

I-77 South in Columbia was closed for more than 6 hours following the accident as S.C. Highway Patrol investigators reconstructed the scene. WLTX News 19 in Columbia spoke with Trooper David Jones who wants to share a reminder with drivers on the road. He says, “Make sure you limit your distractions. Slow down in construction zones, make sure you put your cell phone down and pay attention to your surroundings because again a lot of times these are active work zones.”

Tragic collision on the interstates are preventable if drivers are exercising care and not distracted while driving.  It’s important to slow down in construction zones and be mindful of workers that are making our roadways safer.  If you are a loved one has been injured or tragically killed in a collision in South Carolina, please contact the Goings Law Firm at (803) 350-9230 today to learn about your rights.


Amtrak blames freight train company CSX for deadly South Carolina crash

Amtrak blamed a freight rail operator, CSX Corporation, for causing a crash on Sunday that killed two people and injured more than 100 others when one of its passenger trains was diverted onto a side track and slammed into a parked, unmanned freight train in South Carolina.

In the U.S. passenger rail operator’s third fatal crash in as many months, Amtrak Train 91, carrying nine crew members and 136 passengers, was traveling from New York to Miami when it hit the CSX Corp freight train that was stopped on a side track, or siding, at about 2:35 a.m.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Richard Anderson said CSX was responsible for the tracks and signals, including one that had a lock attached to it and diverted the Amtrak train onto the side track.

“CSX had lined and padlocked the switch off the mainline to the siding, causing the collision,” he said in a statement.

CSX did not address the comments by the Amtrak CEO but said it was working with federal investigators. Both Amtrak and CSX offered their condolences to the families of the two people who died.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Board, told a news conference the section of track was operated by CSX and there was a padlock on the switch that steered train traffic onto the siding.

“Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way,” he said, calling the damage to the locomotives “catastrophic.” An NTSB investigation team was at the site.

Amtrak engineer Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Georgia, and conductor Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Florida, were killed, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters. Autopsies were being conducted, she said.

Two of the 116 people injured were in critical condition after the wreck, which occurred about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the state capital, Columbia.

“It’s a horrible thing to see, to understand what force was involved,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster told reporters. “The first engine of the freight train was torn up, and the single engine of the passenger train is barely recognizable.”

Anderson said the passenger train hit the tail end of the CSX train. That train had two locomotives and 34 empty auto racks used to transport cars, the NTSB said.

The passenger train’s locomotive was left lying on its side, and the first car was bent and also derailed, although it remained upright, images from the scene showed.

At least four of the freight train’s cars were crumpled, looking like crushed tinfoil, but remained on the tracks.

The passenger train was part of Amtrak’s Silver Star Service. Officials said some 5,000 gallons of fuel leaked as a result of the collision but that there was no threat to public safety.

If you or a loved one was injured in the Amtrak / CSX train collision in Columbia, South Carolina, please contact the Goings Law Firm immediately to learn about your legal rights.  Trust a South Carolina law firm with the reputation and experience of recovering millions of dollars for its injuries clients.


The Train Collision In Columbia Was Preventable

The train collision that occurred in Columbia on Feburary 4, 2018 was preventable.  It seems like negligent conduct is to blame for this tragic event

A train switch that was apparently locked in the wrong position is being blamed by federal investigators for a train collision early Sunday that killed two people and injured up to 116 others near Cayce.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Sunday afternoon that there’s no evidence of foul play, although the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Sumwalt said the accident could have been avoided if a federal safety system, under consideration for years, had been in place. The system is supposed to slow down trains when a problem lies ahead on a track. He called the damage to the trains “catastrophic.’’

Sumwalt made his remarks after an Amtrak train slammed into a stationary CSX freight train at 2:35 a.m. in Lexington County. An NTSB official declined to say if the accident was the fault of CSX, but noted that CSX is responsible for maintaining proper track position. CSX is the owner of the track but Amtrak uses the line.

If you or a loved one were injured in this train accident, call us today for a free consultation. We are Real Lawyers in Columbia. 803-350-9230


COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYER

COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYER

The Goings Law Firm are South Carolina lawyers that represent victims hurt in train collisions.

Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Administration (NTSB) suggests that a train wreck or train crash occurs every 2 hours in the United States. There are approximately 3,000 train wreck and crashes per year in the United States. Trains are still used to move products and materials throughout South Carolina but when train wrecks happen, the results are usually catastrophic.  Many factors result in the train accident being more serious because of the speed of the train, the weight of the train and the stopping distance for a train. Train wrecks happen for many reasons but some of the more common are:

  • The train conductor falls asleep or fails to properly operate the train
  • Improper communication between trains, and train conductors and engineers
  • There is a collision with another train
  • A derailment occurs
  • A collision with a car or bus
  • There is a train mechanical failure that leads to an accident
  • The train tracks are too old or improperly serviced or maintained

Since there are many factors that lead to a train wreck, there are many people who can be held responsible for your injury, loss of income, or pain and suffering. While it’s the responsibility of the railroad company to maintain the tracks and the train you ride, truck and car drivers also have the responsibility of following the laws and not attempting to cut across the tracks after the crossbars have been lowered.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a train accident, contact the Goings Law Firm today for a free consultation.  We have the experience to get you the result that you deserve.  Call us today at 803-359-9230


Columbia Cayce South Carolina Train Accident Attorneys – Train Collision on February 4, 2018

Amtrak, CSX train collision in South Carolina leaves 2 dead, 115+ injured

On Sunday morning, February 4, 2018, two people were killed in a crash involving a freight train and an Amtrak passenger train early Sunday in Columbia South Carolina, as the trains were traveling through the town of Cayce.

Amtrak Train 91 was traveling between New York and Miami with 147 people aboard when it collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce. At least 115 people were injured and transported to local hospitals, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said. Injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.

The crash occurred at about 2:35 a.m., derailing the lead engine and some passenger cars, Amtrak said in a statement. About 5,000 gallons of fuel were spilled, authorities estimated, but Cahill said there was “no threat to the public at the time.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation. Robert Sumwalt, the NTSB chairman, told CNN that an NTSB team will arrive in South Carolina Sunday morning to begin the investigation, which should take 12 to 18 months.
Investigators will hold a press conference Sunday afternoon, Sumwalt said.
Amtrak said in a statement the train’s lead engine derailed, as did some passenger cars that was carrying eight crew members and approximately 139 passengers on board. TV footage from the crash scene showed the aftermath of the collision, with the Amtrak engine on its side and its front crumpled.
If you or a loved one was injured as a results of this collision, please contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC today at (803) 350-9230. We have experience in handling significant personal injury cases in Columbia, South Carolina.

Next Page »