Best rides in South Carolina

As anyone who has visited this state can tell you, South Carolina is beautiful. Any season of the year, it is a gorgeous state to be in. And the best way to experience the beauty of this place is to take your bike out and ride the roads.

If you live here, feel free to explore every road you can, but if you need some recommendations for great routes, try a few of these out.

  1. Charleston to Wilmington

The ultimate ride along the coast, take in some beautiful sites and get a little ocean breeze in your hair. You can’t beat a ride like this, and at over 200 miles, you’ll have more than enough to get your fill of the place.

  1. Lake Marion

A great place to take in a little wildlife and introduce it to your hog. You can ride out for a bit of fishing or else just see what’s flying above (eagles, hawks, egrets), walking beside (deer, fox, wild turkeys), or swimming below (bass, perch, and catfish). No matter how to decide to take it in, it’s all beautiful.

  1. Lake Murray

There’s less natural beauty here because it’s all man-made, but this ride is still incredible, with plenty to see and lots of roads to tear up. It’s a short one at only 57 miles, so you have plenty of time to stop, enjoy the place, and make another circle.

  1. Up to Gatlinburg

160 miles of some of the prettiest road in the country. Be sure to take this route in the autumn so you can see all the trees as they change color. You’ll take in some of the hills as well.

These are just a sample of all the great routes available in this great state of ours. By all means, do any of these, do part of one, or make your own way, just get out in the open and ride.

As always, be sure to be careful while you ride. Wear your helmet, be safe, and remember that there are plenty of people out there who are not paying attention. There’s a reason we have motorcycle attorneys around here. They make good business from squashed riders on the side of the road.

That warning being said, just get out there and enjoy the freedom that South Carolina represents. We don’t often get the publicity of some other states for our natural beauty, but in my opinion, we can compete with any place in the whole nation when it comes to that topic. We could take on Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, and California, and easily come out the best option.

Don’t believe me? Let’s talk after you try these routes. I bet a few of these rides will be enough to convert you to my way of thinking.

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How a Lack of Crosswalks can Lead to Death

Everyone knows that pedestrians have right-of-way in almost all situations. It’s hard not to grant them this right, considering an accident between almost any vehicle and a single individual could render that individual seriously hurt, if not killed, while barely scratching the car. While it’s not to say that all vehicle-pedestrian incidents are completely the drivers’ fault, they’re often not left suffering from soaring medical bills or property damage. It is the duty of every driver on the road to maintain a level of safety for the individuals around them that are not in cars themselves. Unfortunately for citizens in San Antonio, the statistics for pedestrian injuries are not in their favor.

While it is a little old, a 2012 report put San Antonio at 18 in a list of 51 of the most dangerous metropolitan centers for pedestrians. An article by the Rivard Report broke down the numbers of the report for us: 373 pedestrian deaths in San Antonio alone during the years 2003 to 2012; for Texas overall, that number is 4,192. The report apparently looked into the concept of different street designs helping more pedestrians stay safe in these areas, and San Antonio did not do well in that regard. In almost all cases of dangerous areas, or areas where the most deaths occurred, the road was designed with fast vehicles in mind around blind turns, crosswalks, and bus stops. A simple design change could’ve cleared up these problems. Furthermore, the issue of pedestrian fatalities more often than not affects the elderly, the young, the disabled, and minorities at significantly higher rates. One in every five pedestrian deaths is an elderly person. Despite the fact that elderly people only make up about 12% of the total population in San Antonio, their deaths as pedestrians make up 20% of all pedestrian deaths. Moreover, the third leading cause of death for children is pedestrian deaths. The difference between 2012 and 2011 was a national increase of 6% of pedestrian deaths for all traffic fatalities.

The simple addition of crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks dramatically decreased the numbers of deaths happening in certain dangerous areas. This lack of change elsewhere is resulting in the deaths of our youth and elderly, as well as minorities and it should not stand. Being hurt in an accident like this, is a dire, tragic situation. An attorney can help a grieving family receive compensation and the punitive damages against a negligent city planner could help to ensure that changes are made before more people are hurt or killed.

When simple designs can prevent deaths, it’s astounding that the changes aren’t being made as quickly as possible. The help of a trained attorney can end up getting you and your family back on your feet all while fighting those responsible for the injury or death. Safety of pedestrians should be in the hands of those who could hurt them, but it’s always best to keep an eye out as well. Stay safe out there!

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The Differences Between Selling and Leasing Mineral Rights

The minerals in your properties are basically sleeping cash waiting to be tapped. But like most mineral rights owners, you have one question in mind before cashing in – should I sell or lease? There is no absolute answer to that question, because it will all depend on your financial needs and preferences.

Below are quick summaries of selling and leasing mineral rights, together with their advantages and disadvantages. From reading them, you can decide on your own which advantages you will like to have and which disadvantages you can tolerate.

Selling

Selling mineral rights happen when you outright transfer the mineral rights to their rightful buyers.

Advantages

The most obvious advantage of selling something is that you get easy money out of it, and mineral rights is no exception to this. Not only that, the easy money you get is also a considerable amount. To sum it up – it’s fast and big cash. It’s fast because these resources are in demand. It’s valued high because these resources are finite.

This lump sum can be a good way to finally start that business you dream of or secure your financial future through investing and getting financial plans, like retirement plans, pensions, and other securities.

Disadvantages

If you get big cash, the most obvious disadvantage is that you will also pay big taxes. That is just one of the inevitabilities in the world, unless you want to be chased by the government. Another disadvantage is the chance that leasing can actually result into bigger profits.

Leasing

Leasing mineral rights occur when you still retain mineral rights but allow an entity to extract your minerals, in exchange of lease fees and royalties.

Advantages

You have more control on your minerals if you lease them, because you can establish contracts with the entity who wants to lease, to determine lease fees, percentage of royalties, and the lease period. In the right conditions, you can get more money in leasing than selling mineral rights outright.

Also, to many individuals, a constant stream of income is a more attractive financial option than an instant lump sum.

Disadvantages

Since a lease runs over time, you are open to risks, such as fluctuating market values of minerals. This is particularly true today, because of the rise of alternatives and renewable resources that are more sustainable, efficient, and economical. So, while there is a chance that you can get more in leasing than selling, there is also a chance that you will get way less.

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What is Workers’ Compensation?

You are diligently doing your job at the office and you suddenly get injured because of an accident. The injury is severe enough for you to miss time at work, and therefore, also losing your chances of earning money for yourself and your family.

Workers’ compensation exists so these types of incidents will have minimal financial impact on employees. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that can cover the treatment costs of injuries and illnesses that have been sustained while at work, salary replacements so the employee can still get paid despite his absence or minimal functionality, retraining costs, and other monetary fixes to possible damages.

What makes workers’ compensation so good is the fact that it eases the minds of the workers, because accidents and injuries will not put them on a financial burden. But in exchange, they cannot sue their employers for the damages. It is therefore fair to say that workers’ compensation benefits both employer and employee.

But it is important to note that there may be legal complexities regarding workers’ compensation. In fact, there are even legal professionals out there who specialize on these types of cases because of their complication.

There are also instances where workers’ compensation claims are denied, such as when it is proven that the employee has been negligent and has caused his own accident and injury. For example, if an employee has breached a safety procedure on the job and an accident and injury has occurred, his workers’ compensation claim may be rejected.

But once the claim has been approved, he may be able to enjoy the coverage of medical costs, salary replacements, and other aspects that can be covered according to the jurisdiction and its laws.
The salary replacement can also be complicated, as the equation for their computation may differ depending on the severity of the accident and injury. But the equation typically considers 2/3 of the employee’s salary, and the replacement can be temporary only if the injury is not serious or permanent if the injury is significant enough to affect the victim’s life forever.

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Dangerous Proposals from Trucking Companies

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2013 show 3,964 fatal semi-trailer accidents and 95,000 others resulting to injuries. Despite this alarming numbers, the government remains cautious on imposing too many restrictions on trucking companies and truck operators due to the major contribution their huge vehicles give for the growth of the U.S. economy. In other words, imposing additional laws and restrictions on truckers may only cripple the country’s ability to do business.

The U.S. government has always shown its reluctance in burdening truck operators with higher taxes or in mandating that drivers be given higher wages. Well, let this be the case, at least for now. However, what it should never do is let its guard down against trucking companies’ lobbyists who are seeking and fighting for reforms on laws that will have a direct effect on the safe operation of big rigs, like, reforms on requirements on the qualification of applicant drivers, number of hours or service, safety standard for truck parts, size limit of double trailers, and, maintenance of a record that will show regular truck inspection. This is because specific proposals by trucking companies’ lobbyists include:

Extension of work hours from 70-hour per week to 82 hours a week.
Trucks be allowed to haul loads heavier than the present federal limit, which is 80,000 pounds (one way to do this is to allow trucks to have longer double trailers); and,
Labor costs be reduced through the hiring of lower-paid drivers – those as young as 18;

A lot of trucking companies and truck operators face the problem of completing job runs and ensuring timely deliveries due to shortage in the number of qualified drivers. To keep their business in operation, many operators and employers have resorted to hiring unskilled drivers, besides no longer screening applicants for past records or driving violations, taking no action in punishing drivers who incur traffic violations, and requiring some drivers to drive longer than the allowed number of service.

Errors committed by drivers behind the wheel can have catastrophic results; so too are the errors committed by trucking companies and employers. Trucking companies are legally responsible in making sure that laws regarding employee hiring and safe vehicle operation are strictly observed, as this will greatly affect the well-being of everyone on the road. If and when trucking companies fail to uphold these standards, then they can be held financially responsible for their failure to act in accordance with the dictates of the law.

Thus, as explained by the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C. ®, “A trucking company has a responsibility to properly train and screen their employees, keeping potentially dangerous drivers out of a position which would place them in control of a massive and potentially dangerous motor vehicle. If a trucking company fails in these duties, it may bear legal liability for the consequences of accidents which occur.”

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