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ARCHIVES: October 2018

Dangers of Limousines

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss limousine dangers and accidents. After a stretch limo carrying friends and family to a birthday party crashed in upstate New York, many are asking questions about the safety of limousines and other modified vehicles. The tragic accident claimed the lives of the driver and all 17 passengers on board, as well as two pedestrians at the scene. As the investigation into the fatal accident continues, what we have learned so far about is genuinely concerning.

The passengers in the stretch limo were celebrating the birthday of one of their friends. They hired a limousine to transport them to and from their destination, to prevent anyone from drinking and driving. They had no way of knowing the stretch limo they were riding in was likely never subjected to any crash tests or federal safety standards. Perhaps even more disturbing – their stretch limo failed inspection the previous month.

Federal Regulations and Limousines

Limousines are essentially cars and sports utility vehicles that are cut in half, modified, and elongated to accommodate additional passengers. While traditional vehicles are subject to strict federal safety and inspection standards, limos generally fall into a gray area where these regulations are concerned. Laws governing limo safety vary by state and are generally not as rigorous as those for regular cars.

While traditional passenger cars and SUVs are designed as “cages” in accordance with federal law to protect passenger in a collision, redesigned limos and other modififed vehicles lose this crucial protective structure. Side rollover pillars and airbags are often removed or rendered ineffective in the process of rebuilding limousines.

While auto manufacturers extensively test their vehicles in a controlled setting, limousines are usually not required to undergo this process. Limos are effectively regular cars that have been purchased by third-party companies, cut up, extended, and sent on their way without undergoing this crucial crash testing.

Limousines and Passenger Behavior

Because of their size, limousine passengers often have a false sense of security while riding in them. Combine that casual attitude toward safety with the festive environment limos tend to foster, and many passengers forego their seatbelts.

None of the passengers in the fatal upstate New York stretch limousine accident appear to have been wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. In a collision, not only do unrestrained passengers risk ejection from the vehicle; they also become deadly weapons as they become airborne and hurl through the cabin.

Controlling a Limousine in a Crash

In addition to the lack of safety testing and lax passenger behavior, limousine passengers are at greater risk of an accident simply because longer vehicles are harder to control in a collision. Design principals used to create stable vehicles no longer apply to a vehicle that has been chopped and stretched. As the mass of the stretch limo changes, so do the vehicle dynamics, making it unpredictable and more difficult to maintain in an accident.

An owner/operator who knows their vehicle failed inspection and allows it to be driven is negligent. Unfortunately, change will come too late for the families involved in this crash, but what we learn from this accident will potentially save many other lives.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Injured Victims

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by negligence, a Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can help. We know how devastating a serious car accident can be and we will fight for the compensation you deserve to rebuild your life. To learn more about your legal options after a car accident, call 803-929-3600 or contact us online today.

We assist injured accident victims and their families across the state, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Treating Puncture Wounds at Work

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on work-related puncture wounds. A puncture wound is an injury to the body caused by the forceful penetration of the skin with a sharp or pointed object. Nails, tacks, needles, knives, and teeth are some of the most common causes of puncture wounds. Some puncture wounds are relatively superficial, injuring only the top layers of the skin. Others are more substantial, going deeper into the body to involve ligaments, muscles, tendons, and even bone.

Puncture wounds are deceptive injuries. They generally appear small – maybe the size of a pencil point. They often do not bleed much or even at all. However, a puncture wound can be very serious if not treated promptly and effectively.

Complications of Puncture Wounds

The nature of puncture wounds makes them difficult to clean, increasing the risk of serious and even fatal infections. Bacteria grow easily in the warm, moist cavity created when an object punctures the skin. A worker who is punctured by a rusty nail or other kind of metal may susceptible to a painful infection called tetanus. Routine vaccinations beginning in childhood can prevent tetanus. Yet, even if you are up to date on your vaccines, you should still seek medical attention if your puncture wound was caused by a metal object.

Depending on the location and depth of your injury, puncture wounds can also cause internal and external bleeding. Doctors, nurses, phlebotomists, and other medical professionals are at risk of puncture wounds caused by needles, scalpels, and sutures. These tools can transmit bloodborne pathogens like Hepatitis and HIV.

Treating a Puncture Wound

If you or a colleague experience a puncture wound on the job, follow these steps for safe treatment:

  • Wash your hands to prevent infection.
  • If you see blood, apply pressure with a clean cloth or bandage to stop the bleeding.
  • Rinse the wound with clean water for five to ten minutes. Clean the skin around the wound with soap and water.
  • Apply a small amount of antiseptic cream to the wound.
  • Cover the puncture wound with clean bandages, changing them at least every day or when they become dirty.
  • Look for the signs of infection: redness, swelling, drainage, or pain. See a doctor immediately if any of these appear.
  • If the puncture wound bleeds profusely, or is caused by an animal, insect, rusty object, or medical instrument, immediate medical assistance is recommended.
  • Notify your employer of the injury to ensure the incident is properly documented should you need to file a Workers’ Compensation

The good news is most puncture wounds are easily treated with home care. Yet because the risk of infection is great, you should keep your puncture wound clean, look for signs that something is wrong, and see your doctor if you have any concerns.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.   Advocate for Injured Workers in South Carolina

Workers in South Carolina may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits for injuries occurring on the job. Because there are time limits on your claim, it is important to contact a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. as early in the process as possible. We offer free case consultations to help you understand your legal options after being hurt on the job. Call 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

We represent injured workers across South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Sun Protection Habits for Outdoor Workers

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss sun protection for outdoor workers to help avoid sun-related injuries. For many outdoor workers one of the greatest risks associated with their line of work is daily sun exposure. Exposure to the sun is a concern throughout the year for these workers, not just in the heat of the summer. Heavy machinery operators who are exposed to the midday sun on a daily basis have developed life threatening illness such as melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. With melanoma rates continuing to rise, several medical organizations have undertaken comprehensive studies to determine the most effective sun protection habits for outdoor workers.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) recently released its findings on the effectiveness of interventions to protect outdoor workers from developing skin cancers. These included a mix of providing education, wearing sunscreen on a consistent basis, and receiving text message reminders of the risks associated with daily sun exposure. Over 350 heavy machinery operators participated in the study, which measured the effectiveness of these interventions separately and when implemented together.

Study participants were divided into four random groups to determine the effectiveness of the various interventions. The groups included: 1) those who received only education about the importance of sun protection, 2) those who received education along with follow up text message reminders, 3) those who received the education and were mailed sunscreen and 4) those who received education, text message reminders and were mailed sunscreen. While the data indicated that the use of sunscreen improved in all four groups, the greatest increase in sunscreen use was in those groups that received the mailed sunscreen. Importantly, all four groups reported a decrease in the total amount of sunburns.

Use of Sunscreen

In a 2014 National Cancer Institute study, only 30 percent of heavy machinery operators reported using sunscreen regularly. Over 80 percent of those surveyed had suffered at least one sunburn in the prior year, an indicator of an increased risk for skin cancer. The use of sunscreen to prevent skin cancer resulting from sun exposure is a crucial part of any sun protection plan.

Text Messaging Reminders

Some research participants also were sent text messages to remind them of the importance of sun protection while working outdoors. The frequent reminders increased the likelihood outdoor heavy machinery operators would regularly use sunscreen on the job.

Educational Invention

Even without the additional use of sunscreen or the receiving of text message reminders, outdoor heavy machinery operators benefitted from receiving educational training on the importance of sun protection. Workers in an educational invention program typically receive information during 30 minute annual safety trainings regarding the types of skin cancer, the likelihood of developing skin cancer, risk factors for the development of skin cancer and sunburn prevention. The percentage of participants who report never having worn sunscreen during their workday fell from approximately 38 to 22 percent after attending these educational sessions.

The AACR report concluded providing proper sun protection educational training while minimizing the barriers to sunscreen use can result in an increased use of sunscreen and a decrease in the amount of sunburns suffered by outdoor heavy machinery operators.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Help Workplace Accident Victims Obtain Compensation for Their Injuries

If you or your loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, compensation may be available. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers proudly represent workers who have been hurt on the job. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced work injury lawyer, call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

We are proud to serve injured workers across South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Halloween Proves Scariest Day for Child Pedestrians  

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss child pedestrian accidents on Halloween. While most parents are concerned with the candy their children are consuming, data shows that there are bigger scares of which to take heed. Over both the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day, Halloween remains the riskiest day of the year when it comes to kids being fatally injured by a car.

Historical data compiled over 21 years by State Farm insurance and others reveals 115 child pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween. This means that on Halloween, an average of 5.5 fatalities have occurred, which is more than double the average of 2.6 for other days. Nearly one-quarter of the deaths on Halloween occurred between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., while over 60 percent occurred during the common trick-or-treating time of 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Common Scenes of Accidents

Seventy percent of these accidents occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk, with the middle of the block shown to be the most dangerous. Children ages 12 to 15 accounted for 32 percent of these fatalities, while those ages five to eight accounted for 23 percent.

Though it is important to keep in mind how to keep safe as a pedestrian, it is equally important to look at driver statistics to determine if there are any commonalities and anything that can be done to minimize these accidents from that perspective.

Driving on Halloween

Young drivers between the ages of 15 to 25 accounted for almost one-third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween. Those drivers ages 36 to 40 and 61 to 65 contributed to the smallest number of these fatalities at 8 percent. Throughout the last six years of the study, Halloween child fatalities were under the average of 5.5.

Parents and guardians of trick-or-treating children can help to reduce the risk of a tragic accident by following some safety tips, including:

  • Make sure that your children are seen by giving them flashlights and/or glow sticks and place reflective tape on costume and bags
  • Use makeup instead of masks to ensure that vision is unobstructed
  • Teach children how to properly cross the street by looking left, then right, then left
  • Teach children to stay on sidewalks and only cross at corners or in crosswalks
  • Accompany children on their quest for candy

Halloween safety for drivers includes:

  • Avoid distractions. Do not use a cell phone or other electronic device while driving.
  • Be mindful of children on sidewalks, as well as roadways.
  • Drive within the speed limit.
  • Pay extra attention when pulling in and out of driveways.
  • Never assume that children can see you.
  • Ensure that all car lights are properly working.
  • Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped on the roadway, as they may be dropping off children.
  • Put hazard lights on when dropping off kids.
  • When going to a Halloween party, wait to affix your mask until you have reached your intended destination.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Halloween Safety

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident on Halloween, it is extremely important to contact a Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. as soon as possible. We will carefully review your case to determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim. Then, we will fight to recover the maximum compensation available for your injuries. To arrange a free consultation, call us at 803-929-3600 or contact us online today.

We represent clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

What to Do if You Are Involved in an Uber Accident

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers provide useful advice on what to do if you are involved in an Uber accident. The number of people who use ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft continues to grow. Using a Smartphone app, riders can arrange a ride and pay for it using the credit card on file. It is all very user-friendly and convenient. However, things can get a bit confusing if an Uber driver is involved in a car accident. If you are the passenger, the Uber driver, or the other driver involved in the accident, there are some important things you should know, and steps you should take immediately following the wreck. Doing so will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

  • Check for injuries. Whether you are the driver or the passenger, check yourself for injuries first, then check on the other occupants of the vehicle.
  • Call 911. It is imperative that you notify the police, even if the accident is not serious. If there are injuries involved, notify the dispatcher so that they can also send an ambulance to the scene. Let the officer know if you have any pain or discomfort so that it can be included in the accident report.
  • Gather evidence. If you are physically able, take picture of the crash scene, including the location of the accident, damage to the vehicles, license plate number of the other vehicle, and victims’ injuries. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Also, ask any witnesses who may have seen the accident if they would be willing to provide their contact information so that police can get their statement.
  • Get Immediate medical attention. If your injuries are serious, emergency medical technicians will rush you to the nearest emergency room for treatment. However, even if your injuries seem minor, it is important that you be checked out by a medical professional as some injuries may be more serious than they seem.
  • Notify your insurance company. Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, so it can be a bit confusing when it comes to figuring out whose insurance is responsible for the damages. Even if you were not driving, and the accident was not your fault, it is recommended that you notify your insurance company about the accident. However, do not provide any information to the other party’s insurance company as they may try to lead you into admitting fault.
  • Hire an experienced car accident lawyer. Because of the legal complexities involved in ridesharing accidents, it is highly recommended that you hire a car accident lawyer who can ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims of Uber and Lyft Accidents

If you have been injured in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, do not hesitate to contact the highly skilled Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. We have a proven record of securing successful settlements for victims of all types of car accidents. We will seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and ensure that your rights are protected at all times. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

We assist injured accident victims and their families across the state, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Floor Collapse During Clemson Party Leaves Six Seriously Injured

Floor Collapse During Clemson Party Leaves Six Seriously InjuredA floor collapse at a clubhouse near Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina left six victims with serious injuries. About 30 individuals who attended a party that began on Saturday at the clubhouse of the Woodlands of Clemson off-campus housing complex became injured after the floor collapsed early on Sunday morning around 12:30am. Most of the party guests attend the university, and six of them remain hospitalized. According to the local planning and codes department, the occupancy amount for the upper level of the clubhouse where the floor collapse occurred is 135 people.

If the owner of a property or business does not ensure that the condition of the building remains safe and well-maintained, visitors may be in danger of incurring various injuries or even fatalities. A floor collapse may be the result of a lack of upkeep, architectural flaws, or faulty installation when the structure was built. Other premises liability issues like uneven stairwells, poor lighting, or deteriorating ceilings may exist as well.

CSA Law partner, W. Hugh McAngus, Jr., was interviewed by NBC-affiliate WYFF 4, for his viewpoint on liability in the accident. View the news clip here.

If you or someone you love became injured at a poorly maintained or otherwise dangerous property or business, contact our Columbia slip and fall accident lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout South Carolina in the following counties, Lexington CountyRichland CountySumter CountyAiken CountyFlorence County, Lancaster CountyYork CountyOrangeburg CountyKershaw CountyNewberry County, and in the municipalities of ColumbiaLexingtonIrmoChapinRock HillAikenSumterNewberryFlorence, and Spartanburg from our six offices in the state.

Hurricanes, Safe Cleanups, and Workers’ Compensation

Columbia Workers' Compensation Lawyers discuss hurricane clean up and work-related injuries. When hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas in September, first responders were deployed to help while the storm was raging. Police officers, EMTs, and the coast guard all arrived at the scene to do their jobs in extremely dangerous circumstances. They faced more than harsh winds and flooding. They often had to navigate dangerous conditions such as downed electrical wires, fires, and unstable structures to search for and rescue stranded residents.

These professionals are aware of the inherent danger involved in their work. Still, their employers are expected to protect workers from recognized hazards. This may seem impossible. However, there are things employers can and must do to minimize the risk of harm to these workers.

Protecting Workers from Weather-Related Hazards

Employers of first responders and other workers involved in hurricane response and cleanup should prepare an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. This should identify hazards workers are likely to encounter and explain how to safely perform tasks associated with responding to events like hurricanes and other natural disasters. The plan should include specific information, such as stating efforts that will be made to: establish staging areas a safe distance from the storm; use monitoring equipment to evaluate air for oxygen, carbon monoxide, and toxic gases; and provide effective lines of communication. Other considerations involving logistics should also be addressed, such as providing a clean area where workers can decontaminate, as well as adequate food, water, and rest areas for workers who must remain on-site for extended periods of time.

Employers should also provide training on the plan and any specialized techniques the workers will need to know. In addition, employers should provide the correct personal protective equipment to their employees based on anticipated hazards. Vaccinations against tetanus and other microorganisms that may be encountered could be mandated as a condition of work.

During a hurricane, floodwaters can be contaminated with sewage and toxic materials from industrial production. Downed electrical wires can be live and if they touch water can convey the electricity over distances remote from the downed wire. Damaged buildings risk collapse. Broken or leaking gas lines can lead to explosions. Many employees will face these hazards, including cleanup crews, insurance adjusters, utility workers, building contractors, and even members of the press.

Cleanup and Beyond

After the first response is completed, cleanup crews will need to help restore the area including clearing debris from roads, assuring gas and electricity is safely turned on, sewage treatment is working properly, and more. Employer’s response plans should include how to protect their workers during the cleanup stage.

The Role of Employers and Workers’ Compensation

Employers should record on-the-job injuries reported by their workers and make sure they are aware of the Workers’ Compensation program that covers certain medical expenses and lost salary in the event of a work-related injury. Employers should also have a return-to-work program for their injured employees.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers Injured on the Job

Workers’ Compensation law requires timely filing of claims in order for a worker to qualify. Reporting an injury and filing a Workers’ Compensation claim might not be the first thing on your mind after being injured responding to a hurricane or other emergency. Allow one of our experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. help you obtain the benefits you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780.

We assist injured workers throughout South Carolina, including those in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County and those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville.

South Carolina Ranks Second for Deadliest DUI Accidents

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on deadly DUI accidents in South Carolina. It is not unusual for adults to partake in the responsible consumption of alcohol. In fact, between summer barbeques and office holiday parties, drinking has become something of a common social activity. However, it is when individuals consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car that they put not only their life, but also the lives of others at risk. Unfortunately for residents of South Carolina, this has become all too common.

Driving Under the Influence

Under the law, those who drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher are considered to be impaired. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003 and 2012, more than 3800 people in South Carolina were fatally injured in wrecks that involved a driver under the influence of alcohol.

South Carolina a Leader in Number of DUI Fatalities

For all age groups, South Carolina saw more than twice the national rate of deaths in 2012, with the same being said for the rate of deaths by gender. Tellingly, in 2012 survey, when it came to those adults who reported driving after drinking too much within the last 30 days, South Carolina under-reported the national rate. While 1.9 percent of those reported it nationally, only 1.6 percent of South Carolinians reported the same.

According to one source, approximately eight out of every 100,000 South Carolinians will be fatally injured this year in wrecks caused by a drunk driver. This means that South Carolina, which has about five million residents, will see at least 400 deaths annually. As of September 2018, the state is just four fatalities away from this number. By comparison, the surrounding states of Georgia and North Carolina are projected to see only half of the number of DUI-related deaths.

State Initiatives Attempt to Deter Drunk Driving

Certain initiatives have been put into effect over the years in order to deter individuals from driving drunk. These include not only drunk driving laws and media campaigns, but also measures such as sobriety checkpoints, where vehicles may be stopped and tests conducted, (which are allowed in South Carolina) as well as ignition interlock laws which keep the car locked if the driver’s breath is above a specified BAC level, and license suspensions, which vary from state to state.

In recent years, these dedicated efforts have certainly helped to decrease the rate of drunk driving and alcohol-involved fatal crashes, though the data has shown that drunk drivers continue to get behind the wheel millions of times.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Can Help Those Involved in DUI Accidents

The experienced Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. understand the severity and impact that drunk driving can have. With experience helping individuals injured in drunk driving accidents across South Carolina, we have the knowledge and skill to help you recover maximum compensation. For a free consultation, call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 today or contact us online.

We are proud to assist individuals and families across South Carolina, including those in the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Consumers Prefer Safety Technology Over Automation

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss consumer preference for safety technology over self-driving vehicles. Car companies that are spending millions of dollars on developing and testing self-driving cars may want to focus more on developing advanced safety features in their vehicles. According to the 2018 Cox Automotive Evolution of Mobility Study, consumers are less interested in self-driving vehicles, and more interested in cars that have effective safety features that will help prevent wrecks and keep them safer when they are behind the wheel. As consumers have become more aware of the complexities of self-driving cars, they have become less comfortable with the idea of allowing the vehicle to be in control.

While much of the consumer concern has to do with the recent accidents involving self-driving cars, the survey found that consumers who were unaware of these accidents were just as likely to want to drive their own car as those who had heard about the accidents. In addition, even though most consumers agree that self-driving cars need more real-world testing, over half preferred that the testing did not take place where they live.

According to the program manager for vehicle interface at Consumer Reports, consumers want to maintain control of their vehicles until there is more proof that self-driving vehicles are safe. They simply have not been around long enough to give consumers the confidence they need. Right now, they want their cars to be equipped with technology that makes them better drivers.

Top Safety Concerns Associated with Self-Driving Cars

As self-driving cars continue to evolve, manufacturers will continue to address safety concerns. The following are some of the most common safety issues associated with self-driving cars:

Traffic Accidents: The current infrastructure of our existing highways is not yet ready to accommodate autonomous vehicles. Roads, traffic, and other drivers are unpredictable, and autonomous cars may not be able to react to these sudden changes.

Hacking and Malfunction of Vehicle Computer System: A skilled hacker can easily figure out how to take control of the vehicle’s computer system, including the steering, acceleration, and braking. This can jeopardize the safety of the driver and the other motorists sharing the road. If the system experiences a malfunction, the vehicle could act unpredictably or come to a complete stop in traffic.

Increased Radiation Exposure: GPS systems, powered accessories, Bluetooth, and other tools that are equipped in autonomous vehicles can increase the driver’s exposure to electromagnetic field radiation (EMF). Prolonged exposure to EMG can cause a range of health conditions ranging from headaches and chronic exhaustion to fatigue and infections. Autonomous vehicles contain more electronic devices than a passenger operated vehicles, and all of these devices emit EMF radiation.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Self-Driving Car Accidents

If you have been injured in a car accident involving a self-driving vehicle, do not hesitate to contact the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Our skilled and experienced team will determine who is responsible for your accident and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online.

Our attorneys are proud to provide the highest quality legal service and exceptional representation to injured victims and their families throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Columbia Workers' Compensation Lawyers discuss personal protective equipment for all workers. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is equipment worn to minimize exposure to various workplace hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide workers with PPE when engineering, work practice and administrative controls are not enough. Some common types of PPE include:

  • Body suits
  • Earplugs/muffs
  • Face shields
  • Gloves
  • Hard hats
  • Respirators
  • Safety glasses
  • Shoes/ specialty foot protection

Employer Obligations

OSHA requires employers to perform a hazard assessment of their workplaces to identify existing and potential hazards. OSHA logs and other injury and accident data can provide additional insight into problem areas. OSHA has identified several hazard categories, including:

  • Chemical
  • Compression
  • Harmful dust
  • Heat
  • Impact
  • Light radiation
  • Penetration

If a hazard cannot be eliminated through the use of engineering controls and other precautions, it may be necessary to utilize PPE to protect workers from injury and illness. Employers must provide and maintain the proper PPE for each employee and employees must be trained on how to properly use their PPE.

OSHA also recommends that a PPE program be implemented to address the types of equipment that will be used; how hazard assessments will be conducted; who is responsible for addressing the hazards; topics addressed during employee training about PPE; how the equipment is to be cared for; and what employees should do if their PPE becomes damaged.

Payment for PPE

OSHA requires employers to pay for all PPE that is used to comply with OSHA standards. OSHA does not tell employers what PPE they must provide; employers must evaluate their workplaces and decide what types of PPE are necessary. There are some circumstances in which employers are not required to pay for PPE, such as:

  • Everyday work clothing and shoes
  • Hair nets and gloves used by food workers
  • Intentionally damaged PPE
  • Lifting belts
  • Non-specialty protective footwear
  • Non-specialty safety eyewear

Common Types of PPE

Several OSHA standards may apply for any workplace, including general industry PPE standards, construction PPE standards, and PPE requirements in shipyards and marine terminals. Some common forms of PPE required by OSHA include:

Eye and face protection: OSHA reports that thousands of workers are blinded from work-related eye injuries each year, costing more than $300 million in Workers’ Compensation, lost productivity and medical expenses. Employers may need to provide eye and face protection to protect workers from workplace hazards.

Fall protection: Employers must take reasonable steps to prevent employees from being injured due to falls in the workplace. Depending on the workplace, employers may need to provide safety harnesses and lines, hand rails, guard rails and/or toe-boards.

Respiratory protection: OSHA reports that approximately five million U.S. workers are required to wear respirators. Compliance with OSHA standards can prevent workers from developing health problems such as lung impairment, cancer and other terminal conditions.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Workers Obtain Compensation for their Injuries

If you were injured at work, contact an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. For a free consultation, contact us online or call 800-531-9780 today.

We serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

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