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Distracted Driving Is a Huge Problem in the US

As SC Schedules Debate about Texting and Driving, Stats on Distracted Driving Released

distracted drivingThe state of South Carolina is one of very few states remaining in the US that does not have a specific texting and driving ban, although other forms of distracted driving have penalties. The current proposed texting and driving ban must pass by Thursday, June 5th, if the state has any hope of regulating this new and deadly form of distracted driving.

A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that distracted driving is just as deadly as drunk driving. Statistics from 2010, the latest year with available data, showed that 17% of the economic cost of traffic accidents came from distracted driving, particularly texting and driving; in contrast, drunk driving had an 18% economic burden, while speeding was the costliest at 21% of the economic cost of all traffic accidents.  Distracted driving accidents can be prevented.

“Including lost quality of life, these crashes were responsible for $129 billion, or 15 percent of the overall societal harm caused by motor-vehicle crashes,” the report said.

In total, “the price tag for crashes comes at a heavy burden for Americans at $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm. This includes $277 billion in economic costs – nearly $900 for each person living in the United States based on calendar year 2010 data — and $594 billion in harm from the loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life due to injuries,” the NHTSA said.

Despite these disturbing numbers, as well as local governments’ specific distracted driving legislation, South Carolina legislators cannot agree on what a texting and driving ban should look like for the entire state.

“We need continuity and uniformity across the cities and the counties,” said state Sen. Thomas Alexander, R-Oconee, a sponsor of the bill.

“We have a great chance of passing a statewide ban,” said Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Richland, a sponsor of the statewide ban, in spite of the fact that the Legislature is racing against its adjournment on June 5th.

Distracted Driving in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • talking on a cell phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod

It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

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