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Driving While Distracted Can Be Deadly

When a driver sends or receives a text, their eyes are removed from the road for approximately 4.6 seconds, which is the time it takes a car travelling 55 mph to drive the length of a football field.  In 2011, 10 percent of car accidents involving injuries were affected by distracted driving. In the same year, 3,331 people were killed by accidents involving a distracted driver. 

DISTRACTION.GOV, the U.S. Government’s official website for distracted driving, compiled these frightening statistics to inspire Americans to be more vigilant in ending distracted driving. 

What are the distractions in distracted driving? 

A person is guilty of distracted driving when they are engaged in another activity that diverts their attention from the main task of driving a motor vehicle. Texting while driving is the most dangerous distraction because it involves cognitive, manual and visual attention at the same time. Other distractions of which North Carolina drivers are guilty include:

  • Converse with passengers
  • Viewing a video
  • Eating and drinking
  • Manipulating the navigation system
  • Shaving or applying make-up
  • Reading maps or other materials
  • Using a cell phone, even with a hands-free device
  • Adjusting the car stereo
  • Disciplining unruly children 

North Carolina law 

Laws banning text messaging for all drivers exist in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. 12 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not allow drivers to use handheld cell phones while driving a motor vehicle. North Carolina prohibits using cell phones, both handheld and hands-free, by bus drivers and novice drivers (drivers under 18 years-old). In 2009, North Carolina enacted a law banning texting for all drivers. 

North Carolina’s statutes prohibiting cell phones and texting are a primary law, which means that police can issue a ticket for the offense without any other traffic violation occurring. Secondary means that police ticket a driver only when they have stopped the vehicle for another violation such as speeding. 

If you or a relative were injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, you may be entitled to damages. To schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte auto accident attorney, call the Law Offices of Brian deBrun PLLC today.

by Brian DeBrun

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