Charleston and Mt. Pleasant Police Starting to Write Texting While Driving Tickets

Charleston SC Car Accident AttorneyPosted by the Charleston SC Car Accident Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC.  Our Charleston auto accident lawyers help those injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Charleston, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek and across the South Carolina lowcountry.

It appears that Charleston and Mt. Pleasant police are enforcing the new no texting while driving law.  Charleston and Mt. Pleasant both passed ordinances last year aimed at reducing the number of distracted drivers on the road.  The Charleston City Paper reported that since February, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department has issued four tickets.  Three of these tickets were issued in April, and until February, no tickets had been written in Mt. Pleasant for texting while driving.  Similarly, since passing the ban, the City of Charleston Police Department has apparently issued six tickets, with the majority of them being issued in May.  Although there was a slow start in enforcing the ban on texting while driving, if April and May were any indication, it appears that the number of citations may go up for lowcountry residents in the near future.  

Facts and Statistics About Texting and Driving  

  • In 2011, 3,331 people were killed and an additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • 20% of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
  • 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
  • For drivers 15-19 that were involved in crashes, 21% of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones.
  • At any given moment in America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
  • Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent at 55 mph of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
  • A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive.  20% of teens and 10% of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

Keep in mind that a violation of this statute could come into play in civil lawsuits because the violation of a statute, which has the essential purpose of protecting persons such as the injured party from the kind of harm suffered, amounts to negligence per se on the part of the defendant.  In South Carolina, negligence per se is some evidence of recklessness and willfulness that requires submission of the issue of punitive damages to the jury.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Charleston, SC or the surrounding areas with someone you think was texting while driving, call Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC to consult with a Charleston, SC Car Accident Lawyer today.

​Source: "What is Distracted Driving?"

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