This week, in Monday’s and Tuesday’s publications, the Post and Courier outlined two fatal automobile accidents that occurred over the hot, dry weekend in South Carolina. Your Charleston wrongful death attorneys note in the reports the absence of a seat belt in one of the incidents, while in the other, proper precautions were taken, and in accordance with South Carolina Law, seat belts were worn. But, sadly, even when safety and the law were observed, there was still a death in a two-vehicle car accident in Berkeley County.
This accident occurred Saturday morning, between 10 and 11 a.m. on U.S. Highway 52. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, a 46-year-old Summerville man was in operation of a 1993 Mazda Protege and collided with a late model Toyota pickup truck, driven by a 64-year-old man from Goose Creek. Riding as a passenger in the Mazda was 52-year-old woman from North Charleston. Unfortunately, despite wearing her seat belt, she was pronounced dead on the scene of the accident of serious head and body trauma. There was no mention as to the injuries, if any, incurred by the drivers of the two cars involved in the wreck.
It was noted in the Post and Courier’s article that all three individuals involved in the Saturday morning car accident were wearing their seat belts. As of Monday, no charges have been filed and authorities continue to investigate the fatal car crash.
Strangely, this weekend’s second incident reported on by the Post and Courier contains a lot of similarities to the car accident mentioned above. Both involved two-vehicles, each of which being a Toyota pickup truck, and both accidents resulted in the death of a woman. In this case, the woman was 69-years-old and of Hendersonville, North Carolina.
According to authorities, the woman was the passenger in the Toyota pickup that rear-ended a 1994 Dodge van heading north on Interstate 95 and died of multiple injuries at the scene of the collision. She was not wearing her seat belt, but the driver of the truck, who survived the crash, was wearing his at the time of the accident, which occurred just a bit north of the McLeod Road Exit in Colleton County Sunday night.
The 7 passengers riding in the Dodge van were taken to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries and the South Carolina Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident.
In South Carolina everyone in a motor vehicle is required by law to wear a properly fastened seat belt. Properly fastened meaning wearing your vehicle’s seat belt as it is intended and designed to be worn (not under the arm or behind the back). Considering wearing a seat belt is required by law, police officers across the State have the right to pull over a car, or truck, on the sole basis of clearly observing the driver or passenger not wearing their seat belt.
In regard to passengers that are under the age of 18, the driver of the motor vehicle is responsible for ensuring all minors are properly secured. However, if a passenger under 18 has their own driver’s license, special restricted license, or beginner’s permit, they are legally responsible for making sure they are properly secured by their seat belt.
Above all, your South Carolina car accident lawyers want you to keep in mind that there is a reason “seat belt” is synonymous with “safety belt,” it is the easiest way to prevent serious injuries or death in the event of a crash or collision.