Not Enough Brain Cells…
There are more than 300 million cellphone subscribers in the United States, and it’s not uncommon to see drivers carrying on phone conversations while they navigate city streets or speed down the interstate. The amount of brain activity devoted to driving is reduced by 37 percent when someone talks on a cell phone. Using a hands-free device isn’t much safer than talking on a hand-held cell phone, since your brain is still focused on the call instead of the road.
Infographic: Distracted Driving in South Carolina
And, as we all know, talking isn’t the only activity people engage in with a smartphone. One out of every four Americans say they have texted while driving, and nearly half of all American adults say they have been a passenger while the driver sent or read a text. Text messaging is just one type of distracted driving, but it is the most dangerous because it involves manual, visual, and cognitive processes. Your eyes will be off the road for 4.6 seconds on average when you send or receive a text while driving. If you’re going 55 mph, you could drive the length of a football field while you are looking at your phone instead of looking at other cars on the road.
The Centers for Disease Control says that 15 people are killed and 1,200 people injured each day in distracted driving crashes. If you or a member of your family has been the victim of a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the Louthian Law Firm of Columbia, South Carolina, can help you recover compensation from the negligent driver. Call us toll free at (803) 454-1200. You can also fill out our online contact form.
Driver Diversions Are Everywhere
Texting and talking on a cell phone often get the most attention when it comes to distracted driving, but there are also other behaviors that can lead to distracted driving car accidents:
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting the radio or other audio or video devices
- Referring to a map or GPS system
- Talking to passengers
- Tending to children or pets
- Putting on makeup or doing other grooming tasks
- Rubbernecking at the scene of an accident
- Reading a book or writing notes.
Isn’t there a law in South Carolina?
Even though South Carolina has no specific distracted driving law (and is one of only two such states in the nation), the state does require every driver to exercise a reasonable degree of care and refrain from driving recklessly. Several counties and towns throughout South Carolina have approved local bans on distracting behaviors such as texting, including Columbia, Beaufort, Mt. Pleasant, Camden, Clemson, Sumter, West Union, and Walhalla. As with laws prohibiting drinking while driving, many drivers choose to ignore the law and engage in risky behaviors that endanger themselves and others on the road. When a distracted driving crash occurs in South Carolina, the responsible party can be held accountable for his or her actions in a personal injury lawsuit.
By the Numbers… Accident Data Doesn’t Lie.
Some of the statistics that highlight the hazards of distracted driving include the following:
- According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,300 people were killed in 2011 and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
- Drivers who use a hand-held device while driving are four times more likely to get into a serious crash than a driver who isn’t distracted.
- 11 percent of fatal crashes involving drivers ages 20 and under were distracted driving crashes.
When life goes wrong . . .
We urge you not to drive while distracted. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle collision caused by a distracted driver, we will fight for what is right, working hard to obtain justice for you and your family.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed by a distracted driver, South Carolina law entitles you to hold that person legally responsible for your medical expenses and vehicle repair bills, as well as any lost wages and other financial losses. You may also seek compensation for pain and suffering or loss of comfort, care and companionship of a loved one.
The deadline for filing a claim is already running, so contact the experienced South Carolina distracted driving lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm today for a free evaluation of your case. Call us toll free at (803) 454-1200. You can also fill out our online contact form.