Transportation officials and state lawmakers understand the dangers of distracted driving. That's apparent with all of the new laws in the country. Currently, there are about 40 states that have laws on the book that don't allow drivers to send or receive text messages while driving.
South Carolina isn't one of those states. The South Carolina Senate rejected another bill that would have prohibited drivers from texting at the wheel. The state is in the distinct minority with respect to distracted driving prevention.
There are municipal bans however, like the ones in West Union, Sumter, Clemson, Walhalla, Camden and Columbia. Each of these areas have banned drivers from texting while driving. The state's not on the same page though, as lawmakers recently rejected a proposal for a $100 fine for all drivers who are busted texting while driving and potential jail time for those who cause a fatal accident because of a distraction. The Senate didn't want to approve it.
Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys understand the risks that are associated with distracted driving. Some lawmakers are starting too as well, like the ones in Massachusetts who recently sentenced a driver to 15 years in prison because he caused a fatal accident while texting at the wheel. Lawmakers in South Carolina aren't on the same page.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an organization that spends its days working to make our roads safer. Officials with the NHTSA recognize three types of distractions that drivers face behind the wheel: cognitive, visual and manual. Texting while driving is one of the worst things for the three of these. When a driver texts behind the wheel, they're taking their hands off the wheel, they're taking their eyes off of the road and they're taking their mind off of the task at hand -- driving.
People who cause an accident while engaging in text messaging activities while driving are textbook examples of negligence. Although texting while driving isn't illegal in the state yet, a personal injury lawyer can help to seek out cell phone records and other evidence as a means to hold distracted drivers accountable for their actions and for the injuries and damages that is caused by a serious or fatal accident.
Currently, the state of South Carolina is one of only 11 states that doesn't have a ban on text messaging for all drivers. There are no limits on cell phone use either. There are however, those bans in certain municipals.
"The House just isn't ready for this kind of legislation," said Rep. Lanny Littlejohn. "I think, subconsciously, they're afraid that the bill would eventually lead to cell phones being banned outright for all drivers."
Regardless of what state laws prohibit or permit for drivers, we all know right from wrong. Distractions lead to fatal accidents. Be responsible behind the wheel and practice your safest and most alert driving habits to help to protect yourself, your passengers and other motorists.