Big changes on the technology front in regards to driving while texting in North Carolina. Governor Beverly Purdue has signed into law a new ban on texting while driving in a car or any vehicle. So, all those of you who can’t keep off your cell phones while behind the wheel, hang up for a second because North Carolina laws have changed.
Just last Friday Governor Beverly Perdue signed a no texting while driving bill. This means that come December 1st it will be illegal for all drivers in North Carolina to use their cell phones to use Email or send text messages while driving. The starting fine for breaking this law will be up to $100 plus court fees.
According to recent studies on texting while driving, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) revealed that 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction occurring within three seconds before the vehicle crash. According to the NHTSA and VTTI study, the principal distraction that led to vehicle crashes include:
- Cell phone use.
- Reaching for moving objects inside the vehicle.
- Looking at an object or event outside of the vehicle.
- Reading while driving.
- Applying makeup.
Cell phones with text-messaging capabilities further increase the risk of driver distraction.
In December 2006, a 71-year-old woman was awarded $4.1 million because a company driver ran a red light. He was distracted by his BlackBerry’s navigation, which he was using to help locate his destination, and crashed into the woman, leaving her with serious and permanent injuries. The situation would have been avoided had the driver kept his eyes on the road and both hands on the steering wheel.
As a personal injury lawyer that sees injuries and accidents on a daily basis, I strongly encourage you not to practice this very unsafe act. Now, you have an extra incentive not to do it while driving in North Carolina.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper,Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.