Texting and Driving in North Carolina
100% Free Accident Case Evaluation!
Whether you are traveling Interstate 85, bypassing the city, or driving through downtown Charlotte, driving is a dangerous activity in the city and throughout Mecklenburg County. While some states have experienced a decrease in traffic accidents, North Carolina has experienced a steady increase in the number of traffic accidents over the past six years. Statewide, traffic crashes increased by 6.3 percent from 2015 to 2016.
One of the causes of traffic accidents in North Carolina is driver distraction. According to the NC DMV, approximately 20 percent of the crashes in the state during 2016 involved a distracted driver. The NHTSA reports that 3,477 people died and 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents in 2015. Teens were the largest age group of drivers to report being distracted at the time of a fatal motor vehicle accident.
A Dangerous and Deadly Distraction
The NHTSA states that texting while driving is the most “alarming” driver distraction. It is estimated that reading or sending a text requires a driver to look away from the road for at least five seconds. When traveling at a speed of 55 mph, a motor vehicle can travel the full length of a football field in just five seconds. If you are texting while driving, it is like driving with your eyes closed from one goal post to the other goal post.
It is estimated that nine people are killed and 1,000 people are injured each day in the United States in distracted driving accidents. According to the NC DOT, 177 people were killed, and 26,962 people were injured during 2016 in North Carolina accidents involving a distracted driver.
Recognizing the danger of texting while driving, North Carolina banned emailing and texting for drivers of all ages. The state also banned the use of a cell phone, hands-free or handheld, for bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 years.
Why is Texting and Driving Dangerous?
Over 542,000 drivers are using a handheld cell phone at any given moment during daylight hours. Many of those drivers are texting while driving. While any distraction while driving is dangerous and potentially deadly, texting when driving is particularly dangerous.
Distractions while driving can make a driver look away from the road or remove his hands from the steering wheel. Some distractions cause the driver to focus on something other than the task of driving. A driver’s actions can cause visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. Texting involves all three types of distractions, which makes this distraction extremely dangerous.
A driver who is texting must:
- Take his eyes off the road (visual distraction);
- Take his hands off the steering wheel (manual distraction); and,
- Think about what he is reading, writing, or sending (cognitive distraction).
Other actions may involve one or two of the types of distraction, but texting while driving involves all three distractions, making it one of the, if not the, most dangerous distraction of all. Distracted driving can cause a variety of traffic accidents including:
- Motorcycle crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Car accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Truck accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Bicycle accidents
Regardless of the type of traffic accident, a distracted driver can be held liable if he caused the crash.
Who Is Liable for a Texting and Driving Accident in NC?
A driver who causes an accident while texting can be held liable for damages. The elements of proving liability in a distracted driving accident are the same as in any other type of vehicle accident. If a driver causes severe injuries or a wrongful death, the accident victim can file an injury claim seeking compensation for lost wages, medical bills, property damage, emotional distress, and physical pain.
Our personal injury lawyers can help you file a claim if a negligent driver has injured you. Let us review your case. You deserve to be compensated for your losses as an innocent victim of a reckless driver.