Text messaging is universally regarded to be a dangerous activity while driving, and states across the country have passed legislation banning it and making it a punishable offense, just like drinking and driving.
The South Carolina state legislature has attempted on several occasions to enact a ban on text messaging while driving. But the latest attempt, House Bill 4451, was abandoned in the Senate in 2012.
While there is no state law on the books, there are other laws that could apply.
Community ordinances against texting and driving
Though the state remains one among a few yet to ban texting and driving, several South Carolina communities have laws on the books that ban the activity. If drivers are caught texting and driving in Camden, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, Walhalla, Clemson, Sumter or West Union they can be pulled over and ticketed.
They will also likely be cited for the offence if it's believed to be a contributing factor in a car crash.
If you're in an accident involving someone who was texting and driving
Even outside of the communities that have outlawed texting and driving, accident victims have recourse if the responsible party was texting behind the wheel.
Your South Carolina auto accident attorney should tell you about the state's distracted an inattentive driver law if you believe the person who caused your crash was texting while driving. Though there is no explicit law against texting, there is a law on the books requiring drivers to be attentive.
Distracted driving is dangerous and personal injury attorneys in South Carolina and other states have been able to use the distracted driving laws to prove negligence in instances when the at-fault driver was texting or even talking on a cell phone.
It's expected the South Carolina legislature will bring forward a new bill in 2013 that would ban texting and driving statewide. That means the law could change soon and offer better protection to South Carolina drivers.
If you were injured in a car accident or have questions about the law and your rights after a crash, contact the experienced and knowledgeable South Carolina personal injury lawyers at George Sink Injury Lawyers. We offer free consultations and will be happy to answer your questions.