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Back to School Driving Safety

Back to School Driving Safety

Early fall is filled with the excitement of a fresh start with back to school for students everywhere, but unfortunately, it also brings about new dangers for drivers and students.  Congestion near schools, newly licensed teen drivers, student commuters rushing to get to class, and buses making frequent stops all create increased need for drivers to be aware and remain safe. Stewart Law Offices, LLC wants to remind you of a few simple tips to help you and your students have a successful, safe, and injury free school year.

According to the National Safe Routes to School program, more children are struck by vehicles near schools than anywhere else.  Drivers have to be extra aware whenever they are in or near a school zone in order to avoid finding themselves in a tragic collision.

School-Zone Reminders

●    No double parking in a school zone.  This diminishes visibility for children and other vehicles.
●    Avoid loading and unloading children across the street.
●    Obey posted speeding signs in a school zone.  If no sign is visible, obey the standard 25 mph rule.
●    Do not use cell-phones in a school zone.  Drivers must remain aware at all times to avoid hitting students.
●    Scan constantly for absent-minded students.  Kids often don’t follow proper rules of the road and even if the driver has the right of way, tragedy can be avoided by maintaining intense awareness.
●    Teens and inexperienced drivers are often those surrounding high schools.  Maintain defensive driving at all time.
●    Avoid switching lanes or passing other drivers in a school zone.

Bus Safety Reminders

●    It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
●    Maintain extra distance behind a bus so you’re prepared to stop when needed.
●    Wait until the bus begins moving to resume traffic.  Late children often run out and aren’t aware of the dangers of their surroundings.
●    Buses merging back into traffic have the right of way.

While it might seem like a hassle to be stuck in the often overwhelming and frustrating traffic accompanying school start and end times, it is important as drivers and adults that we keep our children and those in the community safe.  If you or your family find yourselves involved in any type of accident and need a personal injury attorney, Stewart Law Offices, LLC is ready and willing to support you.  We hope you won’t need our number, but if you do, we will counsel you and help you get the compensation you deserve.  Call us at 1-866-STEWART.

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How Can I Throw a Safe Holiday Party?

How Can I Throw a Safe Holiday Party?

One of the best things about the holiday season is getting to gather together with friends, family and co-workers to celebrate. However, as much fun as such celebrations are, if those attending and hosting them do not do so safely and responsibly, they can result in tragedy.
According to the National Safety Council, from 2007 to 2011, 35 percent of accidents on Christmas were the result of drinking and driving. To avoid letting drunk driving auto accidents or any other safety issues result from a holiday party, The Herald of Everett, Washington recently published some tips for throwing safer holiday gatherings, including:

  • Don’t serve alcohol, or if you do, only serve beer and wine.
  • Hosts of work-related holiday parties should invite employees’ spouses and partners to attend and have employees and their guests pay for their drinks.
  • Stop serving alcohol after one or two hours.
  • Use drink tickets or some other method to limit the amount of drinks partygoers are allowed to consume.

Do I Need to Sue the Drunk Driver Who Hurt Me If He or She Was Arrested?

Stewart Law Offices wishes you and your family a very safe and happy holiday season. If you ever happen to need a auto accident attorney Columbia SC, we are here for you. To learn more about our firm or to get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation with one of our injury lawyers, call us or send us a message on our website.

Did You Know? Fatalities in drunk driving wrecks accounted for 41 percent of the traffic-related deaths in South Carolina in 2012, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Note: This information is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. You can only receive legal advice by meeting with an attorney.

Summertime Water Safety

Summertime Water Safety

As summertime continues on, so do long days spent by the pool or at the water park. But increased fun often means increased risk of injury. Avoid experiencing water accidents or injuries by following a few common safety tips and looking for warning signs for potential dangers. While the most severe risk involved with water play is drowning, there are many other dangers that adults and caregivers should be cognizant of when monitoring children around water activities. Slip and fall hazards, sunburn and sun poisoning, chlorine burns, and other accidents are all risks that can often be avoided by following a few simple safety practices.

Water Safety Tips:

1. Monitor young children and non-swimmers at all times. Even if a child seems safe in a water floatation apparatus, a designated adult should remain on duty at all times. Seemingly safe devices can malfunction in a split second and one shouldn’t depend on a lifeguard to be the sole responsible party.

2. Check for compliant drain covers in all pool or spas. The Pool and Spa Safety Act is named for Virginia Graeme Baker, a seven year old girl who died as a result of non-compliant drain covers. One might not realize the power behind the filtration system and an improperly covered drain could lead to serious injury or even death.

3. Abide by all posted safety signs and avoid running near wet areas. A slip and fall personal injury are more prone to occur in wet areas. While excited children might find it difficult to abide by a no running rule, broken bones, sprained ankles, and skinned knees can often be avoided by slowing down. Furthermore, investing in water shoes with traction on the bottom might also help avoid injuries.

4. Beware of hot pavement and play equipment. According to National Safety Incorporated, when the air temperature is 87 degrees Fahrenheit, the pavement can reach temperatures as high as 145 degrees Fahrenheit. While it might be easy to assume that water will cool surfaces surrounding pools and water equipment, injury can still occur when temperatures creep up. Check all surfaces before allowing children to play or walk in order to avoid burns.

5. Utilize a sunscreen or sun block to prevent sunburn. Most of us have experienced sunburn at one time or another and often it seems more of a nuisance than anything. It can become serious, however, if prolonged exposure to the sun occurs. Sun poisoning can even occur if a burn is severe and results in fever, vomiting, and purpling of the skin. Additionally, unprotected sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer.

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, over 80 percent of skin cancers are a result from sun exposure.  They recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen (one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays) that is water resistant and at least an SPF 30.  Furthermore, rash guard SPF protective clothing, hats, and umbrellas can further defend against the sun.  And don’t forget to reapply as often as recommended, especially for children who are in and out of the water or doing activities that cause friction. Find a more comprehensive list of tips and warnings by visiting The Skin Cancer Foundation website:

6. Know the warning signs of chlorine burns. The sun isn’t the only potential source of burning.  Chlorine is used in many pools and water parks to kill bacteria in the water.  While it presents little risk when administered properly, there are reported cases each year of people, especially children, who suffer from chlorine burns as a result from exposure to too much of the chemical and the gas it produces.  Blurred vision, nausea, difficulty breathing, and redness around the eyes and mouth are a few of the early warning signs found on the CDC website.  The risk for exposure is higher in indoor pool buildings, as ventilation can be a problem.

To lower risk, avoid swimming right after chemicals have been administered, make sure areas indoors are well ventilated, and never be afraid to ask about a pool maintenance and chemical administration before swimming in a new place. If chlorine burn is suspected, move to a ventilated area, remove effected clothing and wash with soap and water immediately. Follow up by rapidly seeking medical attention. For more detailed information about chlorine burn, visit the CDC website at the following address:

Injury doesn’t have to be a part of your summertime fun, but if you do find yourself in a situation where you are the victim of an injury due to improperly maintained pools or parks, please don’t hesitate to contact personal injury attorneys at Stewart Law Offices, LLC to help you with your needs. Serving the South Carolina cities of Rock Hill, Beaufort, Spartanburg and Columbia, as well as Charlotte, North Carolina, Stewart Law Offices can help get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 1-866-STEWART, and we’ll help you get back out in the sun.

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Boating Accident and Injury Prevention

Boating Accident and Injury Prevention

Boating accidents and personal injuries are often caused by negligence and occur more often in the summer months. However, many of these accidents can be prevented. Here is a look some ways to help prevent boating accidents and injuries in the Carolinas.

Lake Wylie bordering North Carolina and South Carolina

Don’t Drink and Boat

One of the top ways to prevent boating accidents is to avoid drinking and driving a boat. Boaters who are found guilty of this infraction could face the same charges as people who are arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

For example, the state of North Carolina has three varying levels associated with BUI (Boating Under the Influence). Boat checks can also done on the whim by state wildlife and game officials, who have more leeway in this area than police officers making auto related traffic stops.

Avoid Excessive Speeding

Unlike cars, boats are not equipped with brakes. Therefore, stopping suddenly is not as simple which makes speeding even more dangerous in a boat. A lack of seat belts can also cause severe injuries to passengers in the event of a collision. Boat captains should be well-trained in how to handle a boat, which becomes increasingly difficult at high speeds.

Stay Stocked and Ready

More than 80% of all boating fatalities occur when a person is not wearing a life jacket. Stocking your boat with an ample amount of life jackets is extremely important before heading out on the water. Keeping a fully-stocked emergency kit, distress signals and a working fire extinguisher can also help manage through any unforeseen trouble.

Careful Captains and Passengers

Recklessness should not only be avoided by the captain, but passengers should also be mindful of their behavior. People falling overboard is one of the most common causes of boating deaths. It is important to be mindful of that.

Maintaining what is considered to be safe speeds, limiting alcohol consumption among passengers, and constantly monitoring the weather can help safe passage in a boat.

Don’t Rely On Cell Phones

Every boat should be equipped with GPS navigation and the ability to radio into shore. That does not mean relying merely on a cell phone, since both signal and power could be lost at sea. Having working GPS instruments onboard can potentially assist in successful navigation and calls for help if needed.

Stewart Law Offices handles jet ski and boating accidents Columbia SC to Charlotte NC. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help. If you have been injured in a boating related accident in SC or NC, please give us a call at 866-STEWART.