The dangers of distractions while behind the wheel are pretty well known. Unfortunately, numerous drivers in South Carolina and across the country still fail to focus fully on the task at hand, which has led to many accidents. Texting and driving, in particular, is an activity that results in thousands of people losing their lives during the course of a year. Those who have lost loved ones in such accidents may have legal recourse.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 alone, distracted drivers caused approximately 18 percent of all fatal auto collisions -- killing over 3,300 people. Another 421,000 individuals were injured in such incidents. While it is believed that there has been a decrease in these numbers in the past few years, distracted driving is still a major concern.
When it comes to texting and driving, crash risk is 23 times worse than driving under normal conditions. Teens and younger adults are believed to most affected by cell phone use when behind the wheel; however, this is an issue that is seen among all age groups. As this is such a widespread problem, local and federal officials are attempting to do more to bring awareness of the dangers of cell phone use while driving through safety campaigns and law changes. In most states, in fact, it is illegal to text or even talk on a handheld device while driving.
Those in South Carolina who have lost loved ones or who have been injured in accidents resulting from texting and driving may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Wrongful death and personal injury claims may be filed in civil court against those deemed responsible for the collisions. Proving someone was texting while driving can be difficult; however, if negligence can be established, a monetary judgment may be awarded.
Source: fcc.gov, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving", Accessed on Jan. 20, 2016