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Texting while driving may be an actionable practice

North Carolina drivers might be interested to learn that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for 18 percent of the country’s motor vehicle accidents in 2010. Altogether, distracted drivers were to blame for accidents that killed 3,092 people and injured 416,000 more, reportedly.

One of the most perilous forms of distracted driving is texting while behind the wheel, an activity that increases the risk of crashing by a multiple of 23, according to research conducted at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. In a Pew survey of American teenagers, 40 percent said they had been in a vehicle whose driver was perilously distracted by a cellphone.

Citing such numbers, the Federal Communications Commission has made efforts to raise awareness about the dangers inherent in the practice of using a cellphone and operating a motor vehicle at the same time, namely texting while driving. The FCC has compiled numerous studies on this issue, and they reveal an alarming relationship between texting while driving and traffic accidents involving deaths and injuries. On account of such studies, many states, including North Carolina, have passed laws that ban texting while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

The FCC advises parents to discourage their teenage children from this dangerous practice and, further, to lead by example. For, distracted drivers who cause accidents in North Carolina may face not only criminal consequences but also a civil lawsuit.

People injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver may retain a personal injury attorney and file suit against the at-fault party. In this way, accident victims may seek restitution for hospital costs, expenses associated with long-term medical care and even lost wages related to their injuries.

Source: fcc.gov, “The Dangers of Texting While Driving“, September 12, 2014

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