The U.S. Department of Transportation’s distraction.gov website claims “glancing at your mobile phone for just a few seconds at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.”
Texting while driving has become a serious safety concern and has resulted in some devastating car accidents. According to the North Caroline Department of Transportation 2017 Crash Facts, approximately 4,750 accidents occurred in North Carolina as a result of distracted driving. It is important to know North Carolina’s laws on distracted driving to assure you are doing your part in preventing Durham car accidents.
The majority of North Carolina's distracted driving laws are aimed towards protecting teens and children. Motorists under the age of 18 are prohibited from all use of mobile devices while driving, except in the case of an emergency.
The laws involving adult drivers are not as strict. Adults are only prohibited from reading or sending text messages and emails while driving. Since NC law does not ban emailing or texting in a vehicle that is “lawfully parked or stopped,” adult drivers are able to send or read texts at stoplights. Making phone calls while driving and the use of voice-activated GPS and other voice-activated technology is also allowed. However, school bus drivers are prohibited from the use of any mobile device while operating a bus.
It is important to know that North Carolina is a “primary law” state. This means that police can stop you and ticket you solely for violating the distracted driving laws. So, just because you are following all other traffic laws does not mean you’re off the hook for distracted driving.
The consequences for violating the distracted driving laws vary based on the type of driver. Most motorists who break the law pay a fine and are charged with a motor-vehicle infraction. Generally, the fine attached for distracted driving is $100. However, drivers under the age of 18 who break the law pay a fine of $25. Most severely, Bus drivers who violate distracted driving laws face a fine of at least $100 and are guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
If you have been the victim of distracted driving and are unsure how to proceed, seeking the aid of a Durham Car Accident Attorney is your best option. Contact an attorney at Wallace Pierce Law for a free consultation to discuss your options.