Last month on our Fayetteville personal injury law blog, we discussed a fatal car accident that the North Carolina Highway Patrol speculated was a result of distracted driving. We have also previously discussed the concerns of lawmakers across the U.S. who believe distracted driving can be especially dangerous. Like drunk drivers, drivers who text or talk on their cell phones are more likely to make mistakes that attentive drivers do not typically make.
To show how important it is that motorists take responsibility to set distractions aside while they drive, the North Carolina Highway Patrol is running a campaign to crack down on distracted driving this week on some of the state’s busy highways. It is the belief of law enforcement, advocacy groups and safety administrations that if drivers are more focused on paying attention to the roads rather than answering a call or viewing a text message that the lives of many drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists could be saved each year in the U.S.
On Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, the North Carolina Highway Patrol will have troopers looking for any drivers who appear to be texting while operating a vehicle, but they will also be cracking down on those who do not appear to be primarily focused on the road as a result of using any other type of electronic device or even drinking and eating while driving.
In case drivers are not already aware of our state’s laws, it is illegal to text while driving in North Carolina. This can result in a fine, but the consequences could be far greater if a distracted driver causes an accident. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, nearly 5,500 people in the U.S. were killed in 2009 in crashes that involved a distracted driver. About 448,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers during 2009.
Source: abc 11, “Troopers crack down on distracted drivers,” Jan. 30, 2012