Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from the road. This includes texting, talking, eating or drinking, using a navigation system, or even interacting with other passengers. But texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves distraction on three levels:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving
Texting while driving is strictly prohibited in South Carolina. But here are five additional reasons why you should never text and drive:
- 1 in 4 automobile accidents in the US involve a cellphone.
- 330,000 injuries occur every year due to texting and driving.
- Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving. In fact, texting is the same as driving after 4 beers.
- On average, it takes only 3 seconds of distracted driving for an accident to occur. The average text message takes a minimum of 5 seconds to read. If you’re driving 55 mph, this means traveling the length of a football field without looking at the road.
- Texting makes a crash 23x more likely.
If you are involved in an accident and suspect that the driver was using a cellphone when the crash occurred, take the following steps:
- Seek medical help if necessary and keep any medical records or bills following the accident. Should you take legal action, these will be valuable proof that you were injured as a result of distracted driving.
- Obtain contact and insurance information from the other driver. Do not admit fault, but also be careful about confronting the other driver, since it could affect any legal action you may want to take.
- Call the police to report the incident, making sure to inform the police that the driver was using a cellphone.
- Document the accident. Take photos of any injuries as well as any damage to vehicles or other personal property.
- If possible, obtain statements from any witnesses at the scene of the accident who may have seen the driver using a cellphone.
- Don’t hesitate to call the law office of Brian Smith as soon as you can. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to file a subpoena for the driver’s phone records. The penalties for texting and driving range from fines to misdemeanor and/or felony charges if the distracted driver places others in danger. It is vital that you contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation.