State debates banning cell phone use by drivers in effort to reduce North Carolina car accidents

MyFox8 recently reported about the scheduled House judiciary committee debate on whether to pass a bill that would make using a cell phone illegal while driving on North Carolina roadways.

Distracted drivers who increase the chances of a car accident in Winston-Salem, Greensboro or elsewhere in the state could have a rude awakening when they continue to use their cell phone in the car.
Our North Carolina car accident attorneys at Lee & Smith frequently report about the dangers of distracted driving as a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes. A recent survey indicated that the 30 and under age group are the most at risk, as we reported on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog.

According to WCNC, the newly proposed bill would put North Carolina among at least eight other states that already have a cell phone ban on all drivers in place.

Current North Carolina law bans young drivers from cell phones and bans everyone from texting or emailing while driving. This bill would ban all drivers from using cell phones while driving, unless using a hands-free device such as a blue tooth or voice-activated phone. The article reports that in a recent survey of North Carolina drivers, almost 80 percent responded that they believe cell phone use while driving decreases overall safety of all motorists.

However, more than half of respondents admit to using a cell phone while they drive. A recent study by Highway Loss Data Institute found that three states with this ban in place reported a reduction in cell phone use by drivers but had not witnessed a reduction in the overall number of car accidents.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that much of the debate in North Carolina lies in taking the personal freedom away from drivers. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported that in 2008, 80 percent of crashes, and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some sort of distraction as the cause of the incident. Cell phones are a leading cause of distraction in most cases.

If passed, the bill would pose a $100 fine for offenders using cell phones while driving but would not add points to their driving record. Emergency situations in which the driver dials 911, police officers and first responders on duty would all be exempt from fines when using a cell phone while driving.

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in North or South Carolina, contact the Law Offices of Lee & Smith for legal advice. Our attorneys have years of experience in representing personal injury victims and their families involved in accident cases in Anderson, Spartanburg, Charlotte and Greensboro so call 1-800-887-1965 to make a free and confidential appointment.

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