Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “What happens if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?”
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Distracted driving is a continuing problem on our roads. Although the safety features in our vehicles continue to improve, injuries and fatalities caused by accidents have not significantly decreased. The NSC reports that about eight people a day are killed and hundreds more are injured on our U.S. roadways due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is negligent driving, which happens when someone does something, or fails to do something, that they knew could be dangerous or cause injuries to another.
Distracted driving occurs whenever someone:
- Takes their hands off the steering wheel
- Takes their eyes off the road
- Takes their mind off of driving
Some examples of common distracted driving are cell phone use, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, reading, changing the radio station, disciplining children, putting on makeup. Fatigue can contribute to the occurrence of distracted driving. Some activities are more distracting than others. For example, reading or responding to a text message takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and your mind off of driving at the same time. Distractions can occur at any time and in any traffic conditions.
Laws to Protect Against Distracted Driving
North Carolina has laws in place that make some types of distracted driving illegal. Texting while driving is the primary law that prohibits the use of handheld cell phones while behind the wheel. North Carolina General Statute 20-137.4A states that it is unlawful to text or email while driving. It is a primary enforcement law, meaning that the police can pull you over for this type of infraction. The law also applies to commercial truck drivers and bus drivers. The use of a cell phone hands free is allowed. Those under the age of 18, with a provisional license, are not allowed to use cell phones in any manner while driving. Currently, cell phone texting and emailing are the only forms of distracted driving governed by law. The general penalties for texting while driving include a fine of $100.
Preventing Distracted Driving
Although there are laws that are intended to keep people from driving while distracted, distractions are still a major concern. Drivers need to remain vigilant and attentive while behind the wheel. Do not eat food or beverages while you are driving. Adjust the mirrors, seat, and radio before you begin your trip. Do not drive while you are extremely tired. If you have children in the vehicle that become a distraction, pull over to resolve the situation. Put pets in a carrier. Always follow the rules of the road and drive at a safe speed. Keep the volume of your radio low so you can hear sirens and horns. Allow the passenger to navigate rather than having to fumble with the GPS.
Distracted driving can cause accidents. When it does, the distracted driver is likely negligent and responsible for any damages as a result of the accident. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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