Texting While Driving in Columbia
Texting while driving is dangerous no matter where you are in South Carolina. If you’ve driven anywhere in Columbia, it’s guaranteed that you’ve seen motorists with their eyes glued to their phone screens instead of the road. That means that you — through no fault of your own — are at a greater risk of being involved in a car accident.
Disturbingly, the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) notes that the number of severe injuries and fatal accidents caused by distracted driving is underreported throughout the state. Simply put, more people are suffering from crashes than we know.
If you or a loved one was hurt or killed in an accident in Columbia and you believe texting played a role in the crash, you may be entitled to personal injury or wrongful death compensation. The experienced and compassionate attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can help.
Contact our Columbia attorneys today to arrange a free consultation.
Is Texting While Driving Illegal in S.C.?
South Carolina banned texting while driving in 2014. But despite the law, texting remains a serious problem in the state. The S.C. Highway Patrol issued more than 1,000 citations for texting while driving in recent years.
In addition, an article in The State reported that police to have a difficult time proving that drivers were texting at the time of a traffic stop. Roughly 1,300 tickets are issued statewide annually, but state Rep. Bill Taylor has told the legislature that “1,300 could be issued a day in Columbia” alone.
What are the Consequences of Texting While Driving in Columbia?
Many states have very steep consequences for motorists that are caught texting while driving. For example, in North Carolina, the fine for a first offense is $230. But in South Carolina, the consequence for a first offense is only $25. A second offense is just $50. With such small penalties, drivers have little incentive to get off their phones.
Proving Texting While Driving Was A Factor In Your Accident
It is often difficult to prove another motorist was texting at the time of an accident. Police reports can be useful if the police officer cited the driver for texting. But again, law enforcement is not always able to catch them in the act. But you’re not out of luck.
The car accident attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can subpoena a driver’s cell phone records, which will clearly show if a driver received or sent a text at the time of the crash.
Distracted Driving Lawsuits
All drivers are responsible for taking every reasonable precaution to keep others safe. When they fail to do so by texting behind the wheel, they are considered negligent. Anyone hurt by a negligent driver can file a claim against the motorist to demand compensation for their injuries.
At Stewart Law Offices, our attorneys will launch a thorough and independent investigation into your accident. Many times, distracted driving is one of several contributing factors in a wreck. Our legal team will uncover every factor that played a role in your accident. Then we’ll fight for the compensation that accounts for the full extent of your losses.
Other Types of Distracted Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that texting while driving is the worst of all possible distractions. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds — enough time to cover the full length of a football field if you’re going 55 miles per hour.
However, texting is not the only distraction behind the wheel. Others include:
- Moving objects in the car
- Adjusting controls such as the radio or window
- Drinking and eating
- Reaching for something in the vehicle
- Rowdy passengers
While these forms of distracted driving may not be against the law, they have the potential to cause serious and life-threatening car accidents.
How Stewart Law Offices Can Help
Texting while driving is inexcusable. At Stewart Law Offices, we insist that drivers be held liable if their texting caused a crash that injured someone else. Compensation is possible to cover medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering and more.
It costs nothing to learn about your legal rights. Call or contact us today to arrange your free case review, with no strings attached.