South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Says Legal Action Contributed to Historic Automobile Safety

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Bert Louthian of the Louthian Law Firm, P.A. in Columbia, S.C., says personal injury lawyers drive safety advances, urges adoption of S.C. texting-while-driving ban.

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Columbia personal injury lawyer Bert Louthian

We have safer cars in this country in great part because the legal profession has pushed auto makers and the federal government to make and require safer automobiles.

A Columbia personal injury attorney said today that members of the legal profession can take pride in new government statistics that show the fewest traffic fatalities in U.S. history in 2010.

Bert Louthian, a South Carolina personal injury attorney with the Louthian Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, also urged the state legislature to adopt a ban on texting while driving. That proposal is currently before the state Senate.

“We have safer cars in this country in great part because the legal profession has pushed auto makers and the federal government to make and require safer automobiles,” Louthian said.

Product liability lawyers across the country have exposed design flaws, from the Ford Pinto in the 1970s, to rollover problems in the ’90s, and as recently as Toyota’s problems, and their efforts have contributed greatly to the good news we’ve heard this week.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on April 1 that the number and rate of traffic fatalities fell to the lowest levels since 1949 in 2010 despite a significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove during the year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the number of traffic fatalities fell by 3 percent between 2009 and 2010 and by 25 percent since 2005.

LaHood cited national campaigns like "Over the Limit. Under Arrest." and "Click It Or Ticket" to reduce drunken driving and promote seatbelt use, respectively, as contributing to the drop in automotive fatalities.

“Local lawyers who stand up for the rights of individuals hurt in car wrecks wage the daily battles that have opened the eyes of regulators and led to the safety measures that are paying off in a safer country today,” said Louthian, whose firm has recovered millions of dollars for South Carolinians hurt in car crashes caused by drunk drivers and automotive defects.

“There’s more work to do,” Louthian said. “Cars need to be safer. We need continued advances in the transition from passive to active safety systems, like electronic stability control, emergency brake assist systems, adaptive and night-vision-assisting headlights and lane departure and distance warning systems.”

Lawmakers have a key role they must continue to play, as well, according to Louthian.

“Just as the reform movement in drinking and driving laws in the 1980s saved lives, today’s focus on distracted driving is about cell phones and texting,” he said.

“We congratulate the Columbia City Council on its new ban on texting and driving, and urge the state Senate to adopt the state ban.”

The City of Columbia adopted a measure March 31 instituting a $100 fine for texting while driving. The South Carolina Senate was sent a bill in March that would mandate a $45 fine for texting while driving.

About The Louthian Law Firm

The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, S.C., has been obtaining fair compensation for personal injury victims since 1959. The firm was founded by Herbert Louthian, who has more than 50 years of trial experience and is licensed to practice in all courts in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm focuses on personal injury cases involving medical malpractice; car, truck and motorcycle accidents; and other serious and catastrophic injuries throughout South Carolina. For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact the firm by phone at (866) 410-5656 or through its online form.

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