You’re driving to the Panthers game in Charlotte and as you approach the stop light on Mint St. and Morehead St., your phone buzzes as you get a text from your friend. You look down for a second to read the text, and in that split second, the person in front of you comes to a complete stop for the red light. As you look up you try to stop and you slam on your brakes, but it is too late. You have just rear-ended the car in front of you and caused a crash.
In 2018, there were approximately 54,100 crashes and 120 fatalities related to distracted driving in North Carolina.1 Any activity that diverts your attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, is considered distracted driving.
North Carolina Law On Texting and Driving
Texting while driving is illegal in North Carolina, as is cellphone use by drivers under 18 years old. In addition, reading a text or email message is also prohibited in North Carolina. A violation of this law is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not less than $100.00.
There are exceptions to this law. If you are lawfully parked or stopped, you can use your cellphone for text messaging or email. You can also use voice operated technology in order to email or text.
How Does Texting While Driving Affect Reaction Times
A study done at Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows that a driver’s reaction time is doubled when distracted by reading or sending a text message.2 Reaction times with no texting activity were typically between one and two seconds. This time increased to three to four seconds while texting. Drivers were less able to safely maintain their position in their lanes while texting and swerved more frequently.
Three to four seconds may not seem like a lot of time, but if you are traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour, you can drive the length of a football field in only five seconds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps a list of distracted driving offense and considers texting while operating a vehicle the “most alarming.”3
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Charlotte, NC
If you were hurt by a texting driver, please get your free case evaluation from our Charlotte car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C.. We help people who have suffered injuries in car accidents in Charlotte, North Carolina, many of which have been caused by distracted drivers who were texting at the time of the crash.