Joe and Martin are Auto Accident Lawyers serving South Carolina.

5 Tips for a Safe Holiday Road Trip

According to AAA, more than 93.6 million Americans are expected to take a holiday road trip.  Whether you’re planning to drive across town to visit with family or take an extended road trip to your favorite vacation spot, you’ll want to arrive safely.

Here are some tips to help make your drive a smooth one:

Check the weather before you go

If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible. If you must travel, make sure to buckle up, slow down and don’t drive impaired.

Prepare your car

It’s important to have a mechanic check the condition of your car before hitting the road. If your vehicle is not properly maintained, you could have issues such as hydroplaning, dead batteries and slipping brakes along the way.

Follow state laws

You know the rules! While it’s not always convenient to abide by the law, especially while driving in slow holiday traffic, it could be a matter of life and death. If you need a refresher:

  1. Don’t drink and drive
  2. Make sure every person in the car is properly buckled up
  3. Put the cell phone away – more than 18% of crashes are caused by distracted drivers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  4. Use caution in work zones

Know what to do to avoid a crash

You’ve done all you can to prepare your car: you’ve checked the weather and you’re paying attention to the road. But unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of other drivers, so it is important to stay alert, keep a good distance between you and the driver in front of you, keep your speed down and have an escape route.

Keep valuables hidden

It’s a sad fact that theft rates spike this time of year. It’s important to keep valuables and gifts hidden in the trunk or covered storage area, especially when stopping for gas or a bathroom break. Don’t make yourself a target for a Grinch!

Passing on Two-Lane Highways — A one-way ticket to serious injury

Highways are interconnected not only by a vast number of roads, but also by a large variety of different types of roads. The differences between them pose no major driving concerns: some are two-lane, some are three-lane, and some have bike lanes along the side, etc. However, other types of roads introduce safety concerns that drivers need to be more aware of, namely, two-lane highways that allow drivers to pass each other. Although created for the convenience of passing slow drivers, such an inconvenience is hardly worth the types of accidents a passing lane may lead to if drivers are not extra careful.

Most often, passing on a two-lane highway is prohibited, but in rural areas where one road may stretch out for 20 miles before reaching the next intersection, small segments of the road are marked as passing lanes. Typically, these segments are strategically placed in order to give drivers the space and sight they need to safely pass another driver, but there are always risks when crossing to the other side of the road:

  • Miscalculating how much time you have to pass another driver or misjudging the speed necessary to pass them safely
  • Failure to see oncoming traffic either from negligence, curves in the road or in terrain, sun glares, darkness, mist/fog, or another optical phenomenon
  • Failure to turn on your turning signal when passing a vehicle
  • Overcorrecting the vehicle to swing back into the right lane after you’ve passed someone

Failure to adhere to some of the risks these passing lanes allow can result in head-on collisions that have the potential to be fatal. While passing is possible to accomplish safely on highways, it is always a risk to enter the lane with oncoming traffic in order to pass someone. Whether you are passing or being passed, be extra attentive of your surroundings, your speed, and traffic laws.

If a driver has caused an accident by violating a traffic law, that driver is typically held responsible for any injuries suffered because of the accident. But to be certain, if you’ve been injured in any accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call Joe and Martin at (843) 357-8888 to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE, comprehensive case evaluation.

Did You Know Frustrated Drivers Cause More Auto Accidents?

Frustrated drivers can cause an auto accident in traffic easier than any other driver. You already know that you shouldn’t be driving when you are intoxicated, distracted, or overly tired. But you might not realize your mood can impair you’re driving and might cause you to cause an accident. Driving while frustrated can lead you to make poor decisions behind the wheel. Some of the risks associated with frustrated driving include:

  1. Slower reaction times making you a dangerous driver;
  2. Making risky moves to get ahead in traffic – i.e., cutting several lanes at a time, not leaving enough space when changing lanes, or driving on the shoulder;
  3. Losing the ability to perform driving skills that require precise timing – i.e., merging onto the freeway or adjusting speed with traffic.

Being frustrated is a common state of mind for many drivers. Some of the most frequent cause of road frustration are:

  1. Slow Drivers
  2. Long Commutes
  3. Crowded Areas
  4. Texting and Driving
  5. Rude Drivers

“I was frustrated” isn’t an excuse for getting into an accident. But, there are steps you can take to reduce your frustration on your drive.

  1. Leave extra time for your commute: If you find yourself feeling like you’re rushing to get to work or other places on time, try factoring in some extra time so that if something comes up and you are held up in traffic, you won’t become anxious.
  2. Find something that calms you down: Take deep breaths, count to 10, listen to music – do something that will help you relax without taking your attention off the road.
  3. Find a less stressful route: If you are always stressed out on the route you take, try taking another route. Even if it happens to be slightly longer, it might end up being faster because there is less traffic.
  4. Don’t engage with an aggressive driver: If a driver honks, yells, or flips you off – don’t retaliate. When you retaliate, you are more likely to make both you and the other driver more frustrated.

When you start to become frustrated while driving, do your best to calm down. You can’t control traffic, but you can control your reaction.

6 Mistakes That Could Potentially Ruin Your Personal Injury Case

  1. Failing to call the police: If you have been in an accident that another driver has caused you must call the police. Although they might try to convince you not to, the police report is vital to your personal injury case. This is because it is one of the best ways to demonstrate that you were not at fault. Without that police report, the other driver might try to manipulate the truth when speaking to their insurance company to try to appear not at fault.
  2. Falling to seek medical attention: If you feel like your injuries are minor you still need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Medical documentation is very important to your injury claim. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance companies may argue that you couldn’t have been hurt that seriously and don’t deserve to be compensated or they might say that you got your injuries a different way.
  3. Failing to be honest with your doctor: Answer all of your doctor’s questions as honestly as possible. Don’t try to hide any previous injuries or illnesses, as this can both impact the quality of the care you receive and harm your legal case.
  4. Missing any of your doctor’s appointment: During your personal injury case, your medical records can be accessed by the insurance companies. These records will contain information about any missed appointments and this information can be used as evidence against you.
  5. Neglecting to take prescribed medications: Not taking the medication prescribed to you is a lot like missing your doctor’s appointments. This demonstrate a lack of commitment to recovery and could severely harm your claim.
  6. Ending medical treatment prematurely: If you decide to stop your medical treatment too early, insurance companies may argue that you must be completely recovered from the accident. Also, if, for some reason, there is a large period of time between your treatments, the insurers may argue that you could have recovered from your initial injury and may now be seeking treatment for an unrelated injury.

If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury and have been thinking about filing a claim, Joe and Martin can help you. Call us at (843) 357-8888 to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE, comprehensive case evaluation.

Rear End Accident

Who is at fault for a rear-end collision?

Who is at fault for a rear-end collision?

When you think of who is at fault for a rear-end collision, you normally think that it is the car behind you that is at fault. While this is most likely the case, it is not always 100% true. The circumstances of the accident will end up determining who is truly at-fault. Sometimes the car in front can be considered responsible. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, it is important to speak with an attorney. An attorney can help establish liability, but also ensure that the other party does not try to hold you accountable for something that wasn’t your fault.
At times, the front diver can be at-fault. This is because that driver could have hit their brakes suddenly which did not give the car behind them enough time to stop. Generally, the rear driver should be following far enough behind to avoid a rear-end collision. But sometimes, at high speeds, if the car in front does stop without warning, there isn’t a distance that is far enough to avoid it. The front driver could also have burned out brake lights – this would also leave them at-fault.
Road hazards can play a role in determining who is at-fault too. Say you hit a pothole and you end up losing control and hit another vehicle or another vehicle could hit you. In this situation, it isn’t your fault or the other drivers –  it is instead the fault of whoever maintains the road. The maintainer would then be responsible for any damages that result from that accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury and have been thinking about filing a claim, Joe and Martin can help you. Call us at (843) 357-8888 to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE, comprehensive case evaluation.

Symptoms and Side-Effects of Whiplash

There are several common causes of whiplash: car or cycling accidents, falls from horseback riding, contact sports or other falls and accidents in which the head jerks back violently.  How do you know if you have whiplash? If you have been in an accident like those listed you may have neck pain, headaches at the base of you neck, dizziness and blurred vision.  Some treatments for whiplash like aspirin and physical therapy may help ease the pain within a few weeks.  Some instances of whiplash last up to three months.  In any case, seek medical attention to be sure of a proper diagnosis and treatment. If you have been injured and suffer from whiplash, we may be able to help you.  Call today for a free consultation (843) 357-8888 or visit

A Guide to Stop Distracted Driving

In today’s fast-paced world. we are faced with distracted driving daily. With as many billboards as there are advising us to not become distracted and drive at the same time, most of us are familiar with the concept at this point. But did you know that there are actually several different types of this offense that can be committed? Understandably, cell phones take most of the heat on the topic of distracted driving, but they’re not the only kind.

Manual Distractions 
Manual Distractions quite literally encompass any action that requires one or both hands being removed from the steering wheel. Cell phones are a given, but think about all the other things we do in the car that require our hands? Fixing your make-up, adjusting the radio, eating, or even reaching for something in the back seat. These tasks seem innocent, but they can be distracting and the defense won’t let up if they find out you were preoccupied while operating your vehicle. Parents are especially susceptible here because of all the many ways they must tend to the needs of their children in a vehicle.

Visual Distractions
Visual distractions can generally be defined as anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road. For instance, looking in the back seat, a glove compartment, or the center console are all examples of visual distractions. An example we’re all guilty of would be checking out accidents, emergency vehicles, or hazards on the side of the road. Regardless of how attractive the stimulus is, these distractions cause us to lose focus and potentially harm ourselves and others.

Cognitive Distractions
Cognitive distractions are described as a loss of focus when driving. Sleepiness or “zoning out” are common while operating a vehicle, especially on long or late drives. Cognitive distractions are hard to prove because it’s difficult to show what a driver was focused on just prior to an accident, but they are dangerous nonetheless.
At Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys, we work hard to help you receive the compensation you deserve if you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver. An experienced injury lawyer who cares about your case can help you make sense of your accident.

Call us today at (843)357-8888 or visit for a free consultation.

Tips for Meeting with a Doctor After an Accident 

Tell the truth and be cooperative, anything that wastes time is time lost that could be spent on you getting better after an accident.  Work with your doctor to determine the cause of pain after injury – remember, you should mention all ailments, physical and mental, so your doctor can determine the best way to treat your injuries.
If an examination becomes painful, tell your doctor that you do not want to continue that part of your consultation due to pain. Inform your doctor about any activities you can no longer perform or restrictions in movement. Even small annoyances can become lifelong problems.  Remembering these guidelines will help make your appointment run smoothly and should legal counsel need any information, your doctor will have made a thorough evaluation of your injuries and ailments.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, call Joe and Martin for your free consultation.

Top 5 Distractions While Driving

April is National Distracted Driving month. This is an important time to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road for only two seconds can double your risk of being in a crash. The media usually focuses on helping to avoid texting and driving, and while the use of phones is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents, there are other distractions that commonly happen while driving. .

Below are five common distractions that happen while driving and ways to help avoid them.

  • Cell Phones. Cell phones are the leading cause of distracted driving. According to a study conducted by the University of Utah, using a cell phone while driving (even if it’s hands free) creates the same delayed reactions as a person with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent (the legal limit). Take the pledge to never text and drive, or download one of these recommended apps to deter you from using your cell phone in the car.


  • Car Stereos. Adjusting the radio is a common task while driving. To avoid distraction and a accident, create preset stations or change your music options while you’re stopped.No matter how you are interacting with passengers, this cognitive distraction is very dangerous in a car. Whether it’s turning around to talk to your kids or looking at the person sitting in your passenger seat, talking to passengers is one of the leading distractions. You can join in on the conversation, but keep your eyes on the road.


  • GPS Devices. Though these are helpful when navigating drivers to their destination, GPS devices can present a major distraction, that some have even compared to as dangerous as using your cell phone. Because GPS devices require the same type of visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver as sending a text message, they’re just as dangerous. Some vehicles won’t allow you to use the navigation system while driving. To be even safer, you can set your destination before you leave.


  • Eating or Drinking. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that eating while driving increases the likelihood of crashes by 80 percent. When eating or drinking, many drivers divert their eyes away from the road or remove their hands from the wheel.

These five distractions are some of the most common, but not the only instances of distracted driving. Other examples include smoking, grooming, dropping something or even reading a newspaper or book. At the end of the day, remember to stay focused when driving by eliminating any unnecessary distractions.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe & Martin today for help.

Distracted Driving Apps

Top 5 Apps to Help Stop Distracted Driving

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month, so what better time to evaluate yourself and change bad driving habits? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives in 2015.
Distracted Driving Apps
It’s no secret that the use of smart phones has played a big role in the increase in distracted driving incidents. Reading just one text keeps our eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.  But did you know these same smart phones can be a tool to fight distracted driving, rather than be a cause of it?
Developers have created apps that incentivize safe driving or even directly block you from using your phone.
 You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Here are our top 5 apps to use to help stop distracted driving.

  1. LifeSaver- LifeSaver uses GPS monitoring and a rewards system to help drivers break dangerous distracted driving habits. The app blocks the ability to use your phone while driving, and automatically lets loved ones know once you’ve safely arrived at your destination.
  1. AT&T DriveMode- DriveMode is for both iOS and Android. AT&T’s DriveMode app helps keep drivers from distraction by blocking any phone taking or texting and driving. DriveMode can be set up to automatically start when you are driving over 15 MPH.
  1. TrueMotion– TrueMotion is free on both iOS and Android platforms and has a feature unique from other apps, “trip score”. Each time you’re behind the wheel, the app uses a rating scale for your overall drive, and pinpoints exact moments where you may have been driving distractedly. TrueMotion can compare driving scores and show a driver’s location on the road in real time, as well as their trip history.
  1. Drive Beehive– PADD’s official safe driving app, Drive Beehive, works by connecting drivers with sponsors (friends, family, schools, businesses) who can set rewards for safe miles driven. This easy-to-use app is appealing because of how simple it is to be a sponsor and to create your own safe driving campaign.
  1. Waze- Waze is powered and used by drivers all over the world. Drivers connect to one another and work together to improve each other’s driving experience. As a community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze was created as a social navigation tool for private cars. Waze is a great app to use for directions because it will not allow you to type or use it unless you indicate you are the passenger using the app once the car is moving.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe and Martin today for help.