Texting and Driving Accidents
North Carolina Auto Accident Lawyers for Victims of Distracted Driving
According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as other groups, approximately 49 percent of adults admit to texting while driving and 43 percent of teens admit to doing the same. However, nearly 90 percent of people consider it to be an unsafe practice that may cause serious texting and driving accidents. Additionally, 46 states currently ban texting and driving for all motorists, while 48 have laws in place prohibiting texting for novice drivers. Still, many people continue to engage in this type of driver distraction, which creates a danger for everyone on the road.
If you or someone that you love sustained serious injuries in a car accident caused by a texting driver, then our North Carolina auto accident lawyers may be able to help. At the law offices of Riddle & Brantley, our attorneys have decades of experience and work quickly to fight for compensation on your behalf. Texting and driving accidents can be devastating, especially since they are so easily preventable.
What are the Dangers of Texting and Driving?
Texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. The reason is that it requires cognitive, manual and visual attention. This means that texting not only takes your mental focus away from safe driving, it also requires you to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road. A driver is then less likely to notice upcoming obstacles, and may not be able to react in time to brake and prevent a crash. Additionally, a driver may drift outside of his or her lane and into other traffic. As a result of these factors, a texting driver is up to 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than other motorists.
According to the official government website for distracted driving, sending or receiving texts takes a driver approximately 5 seconds. Although this may seem minor, if a driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour, then the distance they travel in that time is equivalent to the length of an entire football field—with their eyes off the road.
However, texting is not the only driver distraction facilitated by modern phones. Apps like Pokemon Go, Snapchat, Instagram and even Facebook and Twitter can prompt people to take their eyes off the road. Thus, these apps can be just as dangerous as texting while driving. Our lawyers can help if you believe smartphone apps were distracting the driver who caused your car crash.
What Kind of Accidents Do Distracted Drivers Cause?
Almost any type of accident is possible when a negligent driver is texting behind the wheel. However, some of the most common types of texting and driving accidents include:
- Rear End Collisions. A distracted driver may not notice a slow or stopped car ahead, causing a rear end accident.
- Sideswipes. Texting can cause a driver to drift to the left or the right, sideswiping another vehicle.
- Head On Crashes. If a texting driver drifts across lanes into oncoming traffic, then a head on car accident is likely.
- Rollover Accidents. Slower reaction times caused by texting and driving can result in a driver striking an object or swerving to avoid an obstacle. Depending on the circumstances, this can result in a rollover accident.
- Side-Impact Collisions. Texting drivers may not see upcoming stop signs and lights. If the driver fails to brake, then a serious side impact or T-bone crash is possible.
A number of other factors may also contribute to the types of injuries and damages in texting and driving accidents. If the driver was also speeding, for example, then the car crash is likely to be much more serious. Furthermore, the type of vehicle being driven can also factor into the severity of the accident and potential injuries.
What are the North Carolina Texting and Driving Laws?
In North Carolina, all drivers are prohibited from texting and driving. The law is found in North Carolina General Statute section 20-137.4A. Additionally, this is primary law, which means that officers can pull over drivers and issue citations for texting alone. The law also prohibits reading messages. It is not necessary for the driver to commit any additional offense, such as speeding, etc. If a driver is caught texting or reading a text while behind the wheel he or she will face a fine of $100 and court fees of up to $130.
However, it is lawful for a driver to use hands-free technology or voice operated technology. In the past few years, vehicles are equipped with the ability to use blue tooth connections not only to make and receive phone calls but also to read and reply to text messages with hands-free voice activated technology. It is also not unlawful to use your cell phone to text while stopped or parked. However, we recommend that you not text at all while behind the wheel on the road. Your attention should never be diverted even if you are stopped at a stop light.
North Carolina law also bans all cell phone use for drivers under the age of 18. This includes both hand-held and hands-free devices. The only exception is if they are speaking with emergency response operators, law enforcement or their parent/guardian. Bus drivers are also subject to a similar mobile device ban. Parents may have mixed feelings about this rule. However, the law does permit parents to talk to their child under the exceptions stated in subparagraph (d).
Hurt by a Texting Driver? Contact Our North Carolina Auto Accident Lawyers Today
As laws continue to be set forth to prevent texting and driving accidents, it can be frustrating to be involved in a collision with a driver who failed to obey the law. At the law offices of Riddle & Brantley, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with such an accident, particularly if you or a loved one has been injured. If you need comprehensive legal counsel, then we are ready to help. We can guide you through the entire litigation process to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
We are proud to serve victims throughout North Carolina from our offices in Goldsboro, Raleigh, Jacksonville and Kinston.
For more information on your legal rights and a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your claim, contact us at (800) 525-7111. One of our intake staff members will connect you with a lawyer after a few preliminary questions. You may also contact us online by filling out the free case review form.