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Officials Still Pushing for Nationwide Ban to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere

As we recently reported on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, the federal government is looking for ways to reduce the risks of distraction-related car accidents nationwide.

In our previous post we discussed a recent anti-distraction campaign that targeted teenage drivers around the country. In this campaign, videos were displayed at movie theaters, online and at gas stations to help educate these young drivers about the dangers of distracted drivers. Teenager drivers aren’t the only drivers that we need to worry about on our roadways. Car accidents are the number one cause of death for residents aged 4- to 24-years-old.Our Asheville and Greenville, SC car accident attorneys understand that our state has pretty relaxed distraction-related laws for drivers. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, all drivers can talk on a cell phone behind the wheel except those who are under the age of 18 and those who are driving a school bus. Everyone in the state is prohibited from sending and receiving text messages behind the wheel. The combination of these laws is tough for law enforcement to enforce however. It’s extremely difficult for a law enforcement officer to determine if a driver was composing/reading a text or if they were dialing a phone. Texting is illegal, but talking on a phone isn’t for everyone. How do officers tell the difference? This is one reason why a nationwide ban on all portable electronic devices may be a good move.

For these reasons, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently made a proposal for all 50 states to make it illegal for all drivers to use a portable electronic device behind the wheel, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). This ban includes cell phones and text messaging devices. These devices would still be allowed to be used by drivers in the event of an emergency though.

“According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents”, said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving.”

Just in the last 20 years, there has been an overwhelming growth in the use of personal electronic devices, including cell phones. Around the world there are more than 5 billion cell phone subscribers, which accounts for more than 75 percent of the world’s population. That statistic is even higher in the U.S., according to WECT6, exceeding 100 percent.

This potential ban would affect everyone; moms, teens, road workers, employees, etc. According to CNN, a nationwide ban might not be all that easy to pass in all 50 states. Just look around our roadways. No matter which road you travel down, you’re sure to see drivers sending text messages, young drivers making phone calls and all drivers interacting with radios and GPS devices. Even with laws in effect, drivers still engage in dangerous distractions behind the wheel.

If you or someone in your family has been involved in a distraction-related car accident, contact the North Carolina and South Carolina injury attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

More Blog Entries:

USDOT Hopes “OMG” Campaign Will Reduce Teen Car Accidents in North and South Carolina, Nation, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 20, 2011

Cell Phone Ban Would Reduce Risk of North Carolina Trucking Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 21, 2011

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