Since North Carolina banned texting while driving, the number of texting drivers on the roads in this state has increased.
In 2009, the state of North Carolina adopted a law that made it illegal for drivers to manually enter multiple numbers into their cellphone while driving, states WNCN. Although this bill was designed to ultimately decrease the number of auto accidents involving driver distraction, the number of cases filed against texting drivers has increased since this law’s enactment.
During the 2010 to 2011 fiscal year, there were 879 texting while driving cases filed in North Carolina. Three years later, the number of cases filed against texting drivers increased to 2,018.
Many smartphone activities remain legal
Even though the number of texting while driving cases has increased, law enforcement officials have a hard time preventing drivers from texting because of the many exceptions written into this law, states WNCN. These exceptions make it difficult for law enforcement officials in North Carolina to determine whether or not a driver is actually offending this texting and driving ban.
For instance, this law still allows drivers to use their cellphone to look up phone numbers and addresses while their vehicle is in motion. In these situations, law enforcement officials may have a difficult time deciding if a driver was texting or if he or she was looking up a phone number. Additionally, when a driver denies that he or she was texting, the law enforcement official has to believe him or her. Not only are drivers permitted to look up phone numbers behind the wheel, but they are also allowed to look at social media websites and scroll through their phone’s music library.
Driver distraction comes in many different forms
Although cellphone use is a highly dangerous form of driver distraction, it is not the only type of distraction that can endanger the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver’s full focus away from operating a vehicle. For example, a driver can become distracted when he or she:
- Tries to eat or drink while operating a vehicle
- Fixes his or her hair, puts on makeup or shaves as his or her vehicle is in motion
- Flips through stations on the radio
- Participates in an engaging conversation with another passenger
- Uses a GPS device to get directions
Those in North Carolina who are involved in a collision caused by a driver who failed to pay full attention to the road may sustain life-altering injuries. If you were recently harmed in a car accident, speak with an attorney to determine what compensation may be available to you.
Keywords: texting, accident, injury, distracted