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Distracted Driving

Experienced Attorneys Represent Clients Injured by Distracted Drivers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia & Florida

Growing number of car crashes caused by cellphone use while driving

Distracted driving has become such a problem across the United States that the federal government has created a website to keep everyone informed. Distraction.gov, a project of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), provides access to statistics and other information gathered from a variety of credible sources.

The bottom line is that distracted driving — including cellphone use and texting— is still a major cause of cartruck and bus accidents in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia & Florida, despite efforts to educate drivers and the enactment of driving restrictions. However, since there is no federal law that governs cellphone usage and texting while driving and individual state laws about distracted driving are constantly evolving, it is important to know the laws of the state where you are driving. 

Learn about distracted driving laws in your state

  • North Carolina
    In North Carolina, all cellphone use is totally banned for bus drivers and novice drivers (drivers under the age of 18), while texting is banned for all drivers. The North Carolina texting law is a primary law, so you may be stopped and ticketed by law enforcement for texting alone.
  • Virginia

    In Virginia, drivers under the age of 18 may not use cellphones while driving. Virginia bans texting for all drivers, and texting is a primary offense, so an officer can pull a driver over and issue a citation.
  • South Carolina

    South Carolina does not restrict cellphone use, except for texting while driving. The state also has a distracted/inattention attribute, meaning you can be found at fault in an accident if your texting or use of another handheld device contributed to the cause of the accident.
  • Florida

    In Florida, texting is not permitted while someone is operating a vehicle. However, it is not a primary offense. This means that if you violate a law or trigger a collision while texting, you can face extra punishment, but police officers do not stop drivers just for that violation. State legislators have introduced bills to ban the use of hand-held phones while driving, but a ban has not been enacted into law.
  • West Virginia

    West Virginia has outlawed texting and cell phone use among all drivers, unless the driver is speaking on a phone using a hands-free device. You can be pulled over and ticketed within the state, even if you're not committing any other traffic violations. A first offense is punishable by a $100 fine.

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What is distracted driving?

"I was just finding a song on my phone." "I was only applying my lipstick." "This text will only take a second to send." Every day, people find ways of justifying their distracted driving. The top reason that accidents are caused is that drivers simply do not keep their eyes on the road. What are they doing?

  • Texting, dialing, surfing the web on a smartphone
  • Using a navigation system
  • Reading maps or other material
  • Eating and drinking, grooming, chatting with passengers
  • Tuning a radio or stereo
  • Rubbernecking — looking at roadside incidents
  • Talking on a CB radio

In addition to being distracted by these tasks, drivers are often distracted by their own passengers, such as unruly children. Another common cause of distraction is fatigue, especially among commercial truck drivers.

How serious is the distracted driver problem?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview,” there were 35,092 motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States in 2015—2,348 more fatalities than the 32,744 in 2014. The 7.2-percent increase is the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. Fatalities from distracted driving crashes increased from 3,197 in 2014 to 3,477 in 2015, or 8.8 percent. Even with the passing of stricter laws, motorists driving distracted are still a very real threat to road safety.

Involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver? Call us.

If you have been hit by a driver texting, or a distracted driver of any kind, the personal injury attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban are ready to protect your right to full and fair compensation for your injuries. Call toll free at (888) 351-1038 today or contact Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban online to schedule a free consultation at one of our North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia or Florida offices.

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