Text Us!

Distracted Driving: Texting and Driving in South Carolina

Posted on

In South Carolina, there is no statewide ban on using a cell phone while driving. Each municipality within the state has the authority to enact their own ban. Counties and cities like Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Camden, Walhalla, Columbia, Clemson, Mount Pleasant, Sumter, and West Union have enacted their own bans on cell phone use and driving. In the case of Beaufort County, drivers under 18 years old are banned from all cell phone use, including hands-free. This is in addition to a texting ban which applies to drivers of all ages. First time offenders face a $100 fine, while third time offenders may receive a $300 fine. But, what about a driver who causes an accident while using their cell phone or sending that seemingly all-important text message while behind the wheel?

Text Messaging Behind the Wheel

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the average text distracts you for at least five seconds, which means you could drive the length of a football field at 55 mph without ever looking at the road or hazards around you. That is certainly long enough to cause a serious accident resulting in injuries or death.

For defendants who attempt to lie about their cell phone use, their wireless carrier can provide a timestamp of what was happening at the exact moment the accident occurred. Time-stamped data remains on the phone and can be subpoenaed from a cell phone carrier as well.

Distracted Driving Statistics in South Carolina

Insurance rates in South Carolina are on the rise, and distracted driving is part of the reason why. Stats from the NHTSA indicate that in 2016, South Carolina ranked first in fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven with 1,015 traffic collision related deaths. The state also ranked 7th for percentage of fatalities related to speed. As a whole, South Carolina is home to the third-worst drivers in the United States.

While fatalities related to distracted driving are on the decline, injuries are on the rise. It’s imperative that drivers practice more defensive driving skills, and those who are tempted to use their cell phones while on the road must wait until they pull over and can safely send a text while parked.

The current texting and driving law is not really being enforced, and with only a $25 fine, it’s not deterring drivers from texting. And, since the ban only applies to texting, if someone is pulled over they can claim they were using the phone for something else and avoid a potential fine.

Retaining a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an accident by someone who was distracted by their cell phone at the time of the crash, you need a skilled South Carolina car accident attorney who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm have years of experience helping victims injured in vehicle accidents throughout South Carolina. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and let us help you maximize your potential recovery, while sending a message that texting and driving has serious repercussions.

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.

*Disclaimer* The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this Website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. The Firm expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this Website.

Any information sent to The Firm by Internet e-mail or through the Website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. Transmission of information from this Website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Firm, nor is it intended to do so. The transmission of the Website, in part or in whole, and/or any communication with us via Internet e-mail through this site does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between us and any recipients.

Some links within the Website may lead to other web-sites, including those operated and maintained by third parties. The Firm includes these links solely as a convenience to you, and the presence of such a link does not imply a responsibility for the linked site or an endorsement of the linked site, its operator, or its contents.

This Website and its contents are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

Furthermore, The Firm does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this Website in a state where this Website fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.

E-production, distribution, republication, and/or retransmission of material contained within The Firm Website is prohibited unless the prior written permission of The Firm has been obtained.

Any results achieved on behalf of one client do not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Fee Disclosure: If your case is taken on by the firm, the fee arrangement will be a percentage of the final value of the case as follows: up to 40% for litigation, 35% for pre-litigation, and 33% for workers comp. This calculation will be done before the deduction of expenses. Additionally, the client will be responsible for the expenses resulting from the case.