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Moped driver injured by alleged drunk driver

Impaired drivers are also dangerous to victims who are not drinking and driving. In 2011, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports, there were 9,878 traffic fatalities in the United States or a person killed every hour in a drunk driving accident. For 2011, the NHTSA found, seven percent of these fatalities were pedestrians or bicyclists and 11 percent were occupants of other vehicles. South Carolina suffered 309 fatalities in 2011 and 358 deaths in 2012 involving a legally-impaired driver.

Drivers on a slow and small moped, like pedestrians, are virtually unprotected from a reckless or impaired driver. The NHTSA still exempts most electronic mopeds from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards although fatalities for these drivers doubled from 48 to 96 between 2005 and 2009.

In Surfside Beach, South Carolina a moped driver was struck by a jeep on Highway 544 on Nov. 10. Witnesses reported that the jeep, driven by a 33-year-old woman from Myrtle Beach, appeared to be swerving on the road. A woman driving the moped attempted to pass the jeep and was struck by the vehicle near Southwood Drive. The jeep then caught on fire. Traffic was stopped for almost a half mile after the crash.

The victim's leg appeared to be seriously injured, according to witnesses, but her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. However, the South Carolina Highway Patrol stated that the moped driver suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital. The jeep driver and her passenger were not injured.

Police charged the jeep driver with felony DUI. The SCHP investigation is ongoing.

For South Carolina drivers, this accident is another reminder that impaired drivers will continue to seriously injure other motorists, pedestrians and passengers. Drunk driving crash victims should seek advice to determine liability for these accidents and whether they are entitled to compensation for losses suffered from the impaired driver or the establishment that served these drivers through a Dram shop liability action.

Source: WMBF, "Woman charged with felony DUI after crash on 544 Sunday," Mandy Noell, Nov. 11, 2013

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