The South Carolina legislature is considering at least a dozen distracted driving bills that could make it harder for people to get away with using a cell phone while driving . It is not yet illegal to use your cell phone on South Carolina roads – but it is very dangerous. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, of all fatal distracted-driving-related crashes in 2009, 995 fatalities involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction. Cell phone use has been known to shorten attention span, distract the mind, and significantly reduce brain activity, turning drivers into mindless zombies on the road.
Distracted drivers are deadly drivers.
When drivers are physically present behind the wheel, but mentally somewhere else, it reduces their ability to respond to urgent matters right in front of them. That situation becomes even more serious when their eyes aren’t even on the road.
Distraction.gov, the official government website about distracted driving, reports that 18 percent of injury-causing crashes in 2010 involved distracted drivers.
Texting drastically slows down your reaction time.
While it’s still legal in South Carolina, 41 states have banned text messaging while driving – and with good reason. The NHTSA reports that sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. That’s like driving the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour – blind.
Distraction.gov reports that text messaging while driving increases the risk of crashing 23 times over.
Talking on the phone reduces brain activity.
Talking on the phone might not take a driver’s eyes away from the road as long as text messaging does, but it takes away his or her attention; and that can be just as dangerous. Talking on a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent, according to research from Carnegie Mellon.
Distraction.gov reports that drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to be involved in serious crashes. However, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that headsets are not really any safer than hand-held cell phone use. Drivers should use caution when using any cellular device.
Have you been the victim of a zombie driver?
There could soon be legislation in South Carolina that could increase the penalties for texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, especially if the cell phone use causes a serious accident. Until then, distracted driving will continue to be a deadly factor in car crashes across the state. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a driver on a cell phone, contact the experienced South Carolina car accident legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for a free case review .