People in South Carolina should be aware that texting while driving is not only illegal but poses a serious threat to road safety. Drivers who text are involved in more car accidents because of the distraction. The risk of being in an auto accident is 23 times as likely if texting while driving than if driving without distraction, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The FCC is working with government and safety organizations to address this hazard, but individuals should still be wary.
Using a cellphone while driving puts people at risk, whether it is talking on the phone, texting or using other features that take a driver’s mind off the road. A Pew survey found that 40 percent of teenagers in the United States have ridden in a vehicle driven by someone who used their cellphone in a way that threatened public safety. Distracted drivers account for a significant number of car accidents. In 2010, distraction was the reason that 18 percent of fatal auto accidents occurred. Around 416,000 people were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver.
Younger drivers might be particularly at risk. More than one out of 10 drivers aged 18 to 20 who were in an auto accident said that the crash occurred while they were either reading a text message or sending one. This statistic does not include people who died as a result of a crash. Parents might be able to lower these figures by demonstrating safe driving to their children and telling their teen drivers not to use their phone.
People who have been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver could be able to collect compensation for medical bills, damage to their vehicles and other expenses. An attorney could offer assistance to negotiate with insurance companies or file a lawsuit if negotiations fail. Family members of deceased victims might also be able to receive financial recompense.