According to New Hanover County police officers, distracted driving is a big problem in North Carolina. Even though April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, New Hanover County officials focus on this issue all the time. A sergeant with the sheriff's office called it a high priority and explained that they write tickets for distracted driving every day. He went on to point out that emerging technologies such as smart phones contribute to this growing nationwide problem.
The police officer also reported that texting is not the only problem because people use cellphones to listen to music and to set up a GPS, all activities that can distract people while driving. The sergeant also cited talking on the phone, fidgeting with the car stereo and even eating as distracting and potentially dangerous activities. He further said that even though these are ticketable offenses, police officers in cities like Wilmington, North Carolina, could write tickets for using electronic devices while driving all day long, because people still use them behind the steering wheel.
Reportedly, North Carolina experienced 140 deadly crashes due to distracted driving in 2012 and according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, over 23 percent of all of the state's car wrecks involved distracted driving. While it is still legal for adults to text in a car when not moving, police officers urge people to put the phone away when the traffic lights turn green. It is also legal for adults to talk on a cellphone while driving, but if the police can prove it contributed to an auto accident, they can allegedly file charges.
We all need to practice safe and distraction-free driving all year long, and we all deserve to use our roadways in relative safety. Unfortunately, some people will still break the rules and throw caution to the wind. It's when this kind of behavior results in serious car wrecks that people begin to think about seeking counsel from an auto accident attorney.
Source: 6 WECT, "Officers warn against distracted driving, try to curb dangerous habit" Bailey Hicks, Apr. 07, 2014