House Passes Law Banning Texting and Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9 people in the country are killed each day by a case of distracted driving. Another 1,060 are injured each day by crashes that relate back to some type of distracted driving.
The CDC defines distracted driving in three ways:
- Cognitive: Anything that takes your mind off driving
- Manual: Anything that requires you to take your hands off the wheel
- Visual: Anything that requires you to take your eyes off the road
Distracted driving can involve things like eating, using a cell phone, and texting while driving. Other technologies like navigation systems can also be considered distracted driving, and all cause distractions to the driver that can result in tragic accidents.
Texting: The Ultimate Distraction
The CDC claims that texting is particularly dangerous because it combines all three levels of distraction. The most recent report from the CDC demonstrates that:
- 1 in 5 crashes in 2010 involved distracted driving
- 196 billion text messages were either received or sent in just one month in 2011
- 3,331 people were killed in distracted driving cases during 2011
Clearly, texting and driving has become an epidemic, and one that South Carolina legislators recently took on.
South Carolina’s Changing Laws
Several counties in South Carolina currently have bans on texting while driving, but the legislature recently passed a law that would take the legislation state-wide. Although lawmakers required that the penalty for texting and driving be lowered, they did approve the ban.
Studies suggest that texting while driving can be more distracting than even driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many states have taken up the distracted driving cause, with lawmakers addressing the issue as it becomes more deadly in every state across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43 states already have bans in place for texting and driving.
This is not the first time the South Carolina legislature has considered a ban on texting and driving.
In 2009, a ban was put in place by President Obama banning federal workers from texting while driving, and the states that don’t currently have bans are considering them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has also prohibited texting while driving for all commercial vehicle drivers.
We Know Traffic Laws Inside and Out
When you receive a ticket or a fine for a traffic violation, sifting through the laws and updates can be a complicated process. Retaining the services of a qualified attorney can ensure that your fine is lowered and your sentence is minimal. Call Nosal & Jeter, LLP at 803-351-3597 to speak to an attorney that knows the laws inside and out.
Source: CDC, “Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety,” January 28, 2014