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The Dangers of Distracted Driving: How Technology Contributes to Car Accidents in North Carolina

The Dangers of Distracted Driving: How Technology Contributes to Car Accidents in North Carolina

May 18, 2023

Distracted driving is a dangerous and all-too-common phenomenon that poses a significant risk to motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. With the ever-growing presence of technology in our lives, the problem of distracted driving has only intensified in recent years. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2019 alone. As personal injury attorneys, we see firsthand the devastating consequences of accidents caused by distracted driving.

Technology plays a role in contributing to a significant portion of distracted driving accidents. We hope that by raising awareness and promoting proactive steps to mitigate the risks associated with technology-related distractions, we can help protect our communities and create safer roads for everyone.

Common Forms of Technology Causing Distraction While Driving

Smartphones have become ubiquitous in modern society, and their use while driving has led to a significant increase in distracted driving incidents. Texting or messaging, checking social media platforms, using GPS navigation, and streaming music or videos can all divert a driver’s attention from the road, leading to potentially catastrophic consequences.

In-vehicle infotainment systems, while designed to enhance the driving experience, can also contribute to driver distraction. Touchscreen displays, voice-command systems, and advanced driver-assistance systems can all take a driver’s focus away from the task of driving and provide a false sense of security.

The Consequences of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has far-reaching consequences, including legal implications, health and safety concerns, and social and economic costs.

From a legal standpoint, drivers who engage in distracted driving can face traffic violations and fines, depending on the specific laws in their jurisdiction. Furthermore, if a distracted driver causes an accident, they may be held legally liable for any damages or injuries that result.

Health and safety consequences of distracted driving are particularly alarming, as injury and fatality rates continue to rise. Victims of distracted driving accidents often experience not only physical injuries but also emotional trauma, which can have long-lasting effects on their lives and well-being.

The social and economic costs of distracted driving are substantial, with higher insurance premiums, lost productivity, and income resulting from accidents. The burden of these costs is often borne by both the victims and society as a whole.

Does North Carolina Have Distracted Driving Laws?

States have varying laws concerning distracted driving – some outright ban the use of mobile devices or having them in your vision when driving, while others take a more lenient approach. North Carolina prohibits texting and emailing while driving for all drivers, regardless of age or experience. This falls under the state’s distracted driving laws (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-137.4A).

However, talking on a handheld cell phone while driving is not banned for most drivers in North Carolina, except for certain groups. Younger drivers, specifically those under the age of 18, are not allowed to use a cell phone while driving, with or without a hands-free device (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-137.3). School bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone while driving (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-137.4).

Our North Carolina Personal Injury Team Can Help

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident caused by distracted driving, our experienced personal injury lawyers at Paynter Law are here to help. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll these accidents can take and are committed to helping you navigate the legal process and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you on the road to recovery.