Important considerations for the novice motorcyclist

Now that the memories of the past winter are finally starting to fade, more and more people are resuming their favorite warm weather hobbies. Still others, however, are perhaps looking to enliven their spring and summer by taking up a new pastime.

While this could be something as simple as joining a softball team or planting a garden, it could also mean something considerably more exciting, such as purchasing a motorcycle to cruise the many scenic highways crisscrossing South Carolina.

Of course, anyone planning to purchase a new motorcycle won’t be able to hit the road as soon as they take possession of their new ride.

That’s because South Carolina law dictates that all motorcyclists must secure the proper licensure, much like what is required to secure a driver’s license. This means a written exam, learner’s permit period, vision test and road skills test, to name only a few of the requirements.

As onerous as this might seem, the process is designed to help make you the best driver possible, such that you appreciate the potential danger posed by not just the motorcycle itself, but by the people with whom you share the road.

Indeed, statistics show that in 2013, 58 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents involved multiple vehicles. These types of accidents typically result when motorists fail to notice motorcyclists or engage in altogether reckless driving around them (speeding, distracted driving, tailgating, etc.).

In recognition of this danger, here are a few basic safety tips for novice riders to keep in mind before climbing behind the handlebars and starting what could prove to be a lifelong hobby:

  • Use headlights, brake lights, horn and reflective tape to remain visible.
  • Don’t ride in blind spots.
  • Wear the necessary safety gear, including a helmet (required by state law for all riders under 21).
  • Drive defensively.
  • Maintain a safe distance between your motorcycle and the vehicles around you.

Another important thing to remember is that if a negligent motorist causes an accident leaving you with serious and even life-altering personal injuries that you do have options for seeking the justice and peace of mind that you deserve.

South Carolina truck company given shut-down order

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken action against a truck company here in South Carolina that it says violated federal trucking regulations.

The trucking company in question is based out of Darlington. An FMCSA investigation into the company was started late last month. This investigation found that the company had violated quite a few federal regulations regarding trucking and that these violations were of a serious nature. Among the regulations the federal agency claims the company violated are regulations regarding hours of service, driver qualifications, controlled substance/alcohol testing and vehicle inspection/repair/maintenance.

In relation to these investigation findings, the FMCSA has classified the truck company as an imminent public safety hazard. The agency has ordered the company to shut down, has suspended its USDOT number and has revoked its federal operating authority.

As this illustrates, there are major actions that the federal government can take against truck companies in relation to serious federal trucking regulation violations. However, despite the major legal consequences being found to have violated federal regulations can have on a truck company and the major dangers such violations can pose out on the roads, there are still truck companies out there that decide to violate federal trucking regulations. Sadly, such conduct by a trucking company sometimes isn’t caught until after it has resulted in truck accidents.

When a trucking company causes a truck accident through failing to comply with federal regulations, legal action against the company may be able to be taken by individuals hurt in the accident. Attorneys can be a helpful source of advice for individuals who have been harmed because a truck company didn’t follow regulations that applied to it.

Source: Trucking News Online, “FMCSA Shuts Down South Carolina Truck Fleet for Violations,” April 10, 2015

 

When a school bus has its red lights and stop arm activated

School children can be in a very physically vulnerable position when they are entering or departing a school bus. This is why it is so important to protect kids in these circumstances and reduce the risk of them getting hit by a motor vehicle. This is why buses generally have flashing red lights and stop arms that activate when they are stopped to pick kids up or drop them off and why there are strict rules here in South Carolina regarding what drivers are to do when they encounter a bus that has these devices activated. It is very important for drivers to know and follow these rules.

Under these rules, if a driver is behind a stopped bus that has its stop arm and flashing red lights activated, the driver is not allowed to pass the bus, but rather is to stop and remain stopped until the bus deactivates these devices or starts moving again. Also, if a driver who is coming from the opposite direction encounters a stopped bus that has its stop arm and flashing red lights activated, and the two-way road they are on is one that only has one lane for each direction, they too are required to stop.

When motorists ignore these rules when they encounter a school bus on the roads, they could be creating a significant risk of a child getting hit.

When a child has been injured because a motorist did not obey the rules regarding buses that have stop arms and flashing red lights activated or engaged in other negligence when driving near a school bus, the child’s parents may have legal remedies they can pursue against the negligent driver in relation to the injuries their child has suffered. Attorneys can give legal guidance to parents of children who have suffered harm through the actions of a careless driver.

Source: South Carolina Department of Public Safety, “School Bus Safety,” Accessed March 27, 2015