Cell Phone Car Accident
The National Safety Council reports that an estimated 27% of all motor vehicle accidents involve a cell phone. Motor vehicle accidents caused by texting have increased while accidents involving those talking on phones may have decreased. Cell phone-related motor vehicle accidents have increased for the third consecutive year. The Council also noted that crashes caused by cell phones are likely widely underreported. While the data overwhelmingly demonstrates the dangers of texting while driving, a large number of people continue to put others in danger by texting while driving.
If you have suffered an injury caused by distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Under North Carolina law, drivers owe other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians a duty of reasonable care. Drivers who use their cell phones to text, watch videos, or otherwise use their cell phones are legally obligated to pay for the damage caused by their negligence. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who have suffered injuries in Charlotte car accidents. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.Prevalence of Car Accidents Related to Cell Phone Usage
Distracted driving, especially driving while using a cell phone, is particularly dangerous. The following statistics demonstrate just how dangerous driving while texting or engaged in distracted driving can be:
- In 2015, 391,000 injuries resulted from distracted driving-related accidents.
- A car accident can happen after the driver’s attention has been distracted for only three seconds.
- In a study conducted by Zebra, 36% of respondents admitted to texting while driving.
- 48% of respondents said they thought driving while intoxicated was more dangerous than texting while driving.
- Young drivers who admitted to reading a text message while driving or texting while driving were twice as likely as others to continue to engage in cell phone use.
- 47 states have a law on the books banning texting while driving. Yet, only 16 states have banned hands-free devices for all drivers.
- Drivers who text while driving increases the amount of time a driver spends with his or her eyes off of the road by 400%.
- Using a cell phone while driving causes approximately 1.5 million car accidents every year in the United States.
- Car accidents caused by texting and driving were responsible for 15% of the societal costs caused by motor vehicle accidents.
- Texting while driving is responsible for $129 billion in damages.
- 14% of deaths caused by distracted driving can be attributed to cell phone use, specifically, as opposed to other forms of distracted driving.
Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is illegal in North Carolina. Under North Carolina, texting and driving is a primary offense. North Carolina police officers can legally stop a driver for texting and driving as a primary offense. In other states, the police officer must have a reason other than texting while driving for pulling the driver over. Motorists are allowed to talk on the phone while driving, but they cannot text while driving. Specifically, motorists are not allowed to do the following:
- Manually type in letters or text into a cell phone to engage in communication with someone else
- Read a text message or email transmitted or stored in a personal electronic device
Under North Carolina law, there are some exceptions to the prohibition on texting and driving. Drivers are not prohibited from texting and driving in the following circumstances:
- The driver is entirely stopped or parked
- The person using the cell phone is a firefighter, a police officer, or ambulance driver
- The personal technology is an after-purchase GPS or factory-installed GPS
- The person is using voice-operated technology
Violating North Carolina’s texting while driving laws is a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine. More severe penalties will be imposed if the driver is driving a commercial vehicle or the driver is a school bus driver.Damages Available in a Distracted Driving Lawsuit
Victims of car accidents caused by texting while driving may be entitled to damages. Successfully plaintiffs may be able to recover compensation for medical costs, pain, and suffering, and possibly punitive damages. Receiving a settlement or judgment for damages changes an injured individual’s life for the better. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how our skilled attorneys can help. Call us now at 704-370-2828 to speak with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe.