Our South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Explain Distracted Driving Laws
Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of deaths and injuries in the U.S. each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 400,000 people suffered injuries in distracted driving crashes during 2018. Texting and driving is against South Carolina state law. Not only is it against the law, motorists could face civil liability for causing injuries during a distracted driving crash. Below, our car accident attorneys discuss South Carolina texting and driving laws.
South Carolina Code Section 56-5-3890
South Carolina Code Section 56-5-3890 prohibits the use of a wireless device to write, read or send text messages while driving on a public road. A “wireless device” does not have to be a phone.
There are some exceptions to when S.C. Section 56-5-3890 (formerly known as Senate Bill 459) applies. The rule does not apply to situations where:
- You are legally parked;
- You are in an emergency situation and are attempting to find assistance;
- You are using a GPS or hands-free device;
- You are a public official carrying out your duties.
The penalties for distracted driving vary. However, a person can be liable for damages that arose from a distracted driving crash. Civil liability is another aspect of distracted driving that warrants attention.
What About Other Types of Distracted Driving?
There are other types of distracted driving that can lead to an accident. Grooming, eating or talking with other passengers behind the wheel can also lead to a distracted driving accident.
Newer technologies may also increase the risk of a crash. Certain social media apps have been connected to distracted driving accidents. Vehicle infotainment systems are also a major distracted driving risk factor.
You can cover a lot of ground if you take your eyes off the road for even a couple of seconds. There is an old figure that claims you may cover close to the distance of a football field in only five seconds if you are travelling at 55 miles per hour.
When it comes to driving, you should keep your eyes on the road. Give operating your vehicle your full attention at all times.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured in a Distracted Driving Crash?
The first thing you should do after a vehicle crash resulting in injuries is receive medical attention. If you are able, then it may help to take photos of the crash, write down what happened leading up to the crash and obtain contact information from witnesses.
After receiving medical care, consider contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss what happened. An attorney can protect evidence and may uncover new evidence that demonstrates the other party’s fault for the accident.