Texting and Driving Make a Deadly Combination
Nationwide there has been a push by safety advocates to curb dangers created by distracted driving. This includes North Carolina, which has seen new legislation on the issue in recent years.
In North Carolina, there is a statutory ban on texting for all drivers on our roads. Besides acting to limit roadway dangers, this legislation can provide grounds to show negligence per se if you suffer injury because someone else was looking down at their phone rather than the road.
The doctrine of negligence per se creates a duty incumbent upon all drivers in our state to obey the rules of the road. Should an accident occur because those rules are broken, the person who broke the rules is deemed negligent per se. This makes the burden of prevailing in a personal injury claim much easier.
Texting While Driving Creates a Substantial Risk
Distracted driving comes in many forms, but one of the most lethal distractions is texting. According to Distraction.gov, the official United States website for distracted driving, 3,328 people died in texting related crashes on American roads in 2012 alone.
To make matters worse, teenagers, some of the most risk prone and under experienced drivers on the road, are alarmingly likely to increase danger by texting. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, 71 percent of young persons admitted to writing texts while behind the wheel. Another 78 percent of young persons admit to reading texts sent to them while driving.
The United States Department of Transportation estimates that texting behind the wheel increases the likelihood of a car accident by 23 times. Overall, the National Safety Council reports that over one million (or 18 percent of the total) crashes are caused by a driver texting each year.
Texting Takes Time
In fact, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explains that just reaching for the phone takes a driver’s attention away from what’s important for 4.6 seconds on average. That may not sound like much, but a car traveling 55 miles per hour will cover the distance of a football field in that time.
One of the most startling testaments to the dangers of texting while driving came from an experiment conducted by Car and Driver Magazine. That study concluded that the risks created were worse than those created by drivers who are legally drunk. As compared to a drunk driver, stopping distance was increased by 65 feet when the operator was concentrating on a text message instead of the road.
Seek Out Experienced Counsel If You Have Been Harmed By a Distracted Driver
Negligent driving impacts hundreds of North and South Carolina drivers annually. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, it is the negligent driver’s responsibility to pay you for the damage they have wrought. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident anywhere in North Carolina or South Carolina, be sure to contact an experienced auto accident attorney who can answer any questions or concerns you may have.