Since South Carolina lawmakers have delayed action on legislation to make texting while driving illegal, South Carolina remains among the states without laws restricting texting or other cellphone use while driving.
That means South Carolinians may face more distracted-driving dangers than drivers in states that regulate cellphone and texting by drivers. While cellphones are important in an emergency, they’re also a proven hazard behind the wheel:
- The National Safety Council reported in a 2010 study that 28 percent of motor vehicle accidents take place when drivers talk or text on mobile devices.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety estimates that a driver who is text is 23 times more likely to have a car accident than one who is not.
Although a ban on texting is a good step, researchers at West Virginia University say even more can be done to protect people from distracted-driving accidents. The researchers have proposed that automobile manufacturers build in systems that disable any handheld devices as soon as vehicles are in motion.
These systems could permit hands-free phone usage and convert incoming texts to voice while allowing voice commands to compose and send text messages.
Apps May Help
It could take years before cars are equipped with such systems. However, phone apps already on the market provide some control over handheld mobile devices on the road.
For a moderate cost, consumers can purchase the Textecution app that immediately stops a phone from having any text functions when a car is moving. Also, AT&T offers an entirely free app called DriveMode that restricts certain cellphone features on the road.
It isn’t clear whether these kinds of apps will gain mainstream use. But applying technological solutions to the rising dangers of distracted driving could prove effective when coupled with continued education and awareness.
Need Legal Help?
Our South Carolina car accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm are ready to fight for your rights if you are hurt in a motor vehicle collision caused by someone texting while driving. For a free consultation, call us at 877-941-2615 or fill out our convenient online form today.