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Texting and driving causes thousands of injuries and deaths

There are a number of activities South Carolina drivers do when behind the wheel which can distract them from the task at hand. Texting and driving, for instance, is a major concern -- both here and on a national level. According to recent statistics, thousands of deaths and injuries occur annually across the country as a result of this one activity.

Cell phones and other mobile electronic devices are owned by a vast majority of the population. While they serve a valuable purpose, they can also be extremely distracting. Drivers who are distracted are at greater risk for being involved in a serious accident. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 18 percent of fatal crashes that occurred across the country in 2012 were caused by distracted drivers. A total of 3,328 people died in these wrecks and another 421,000 individuals were injured.

Texting and driving is not tied to any specific age group -- drivers of all ages are known to do this. However, texting and driving is believed to a bigger issue among teenagers and younger adults. In an effort to reduce the number of accidents tied to this activity, the state of South Carolina banned texting while driving.

South Carolina residents who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a person who was texting and driving may seek legal recourse. Personal injury claims, or wrongful death and survival actions, can be filed in a civil court against the driver deemed responsible and/or the owner of the vehicle. If litigation proves successful, compensation in the form of a monetary judgment may be awarded to the victims or -- in the event of fatality -- surviving family members.

Source: fcc.gov, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving", Jan. 10, 2015

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