Drinking and driving has been a big problem on the roads of South Carolina for the past several years. According to MADD, 38% of all fatal car accidents in South Carolina involve a drunk driver. With one of the highest percentages of drunk driving fatalities in the country, driving under the influence of alcohol has undoubtedly been considered an epidemic across the state. However, in the age of mobile technology, texting while driving is becoming more of an issue with increasing concern expressed by the public and politicians alike.
- The NHTSA reports texting and driving is 6 times more dangerous than drinking and driving.
- According to a study done by the University of Utah, using a cell phone while driving delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the legal limit of .08 percent.
- Texting while driving has now replaced drinking while driving as the leading cause of accidents and deaths of teenage drivers.
- In an experiment performed by Car and Driver, an unimpaired driver going 70 mph reacts and hits the brakes in .54 seconds; a driver with a BAC of .08 reacts 4 feet later; a driver sending a text message reacts 70 feet later.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation compares sending or receiving a text - which takes the driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds - to driving the length of an entire football field at 55 miles per hour, blind.
- If you text while driving, you are 23 times more likely to get into a car accident than someone who is not using a mobile device.
If these statistics aren't enough to convince you of the dangers of texting and driving, perhaps new legislation regulating the use of mobile devices in vehicles will encourage you to put the phone down. A survey conducted by NHTSA found that 90% of drivers support federal laws to ban texting while driving. While no state-wide laws have been passed in South Carolina regarding texting and driving as of yet, some local communities are cracking down on distracted drivers, including Columbia, Camden, Walhalla, Clemson, Sumter, and West Union. Several new bills are up for consideration, including a bill that would consider texting & driving a reckless driving offense, with first-offense fines up to $350. Another calls for reckless homicide charges if a driver causes a fatality while using a cell phone.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted or intoxicated driver, please contact an experienced accident attorney. The legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is available to answer your questions 24/7.