Distracted driving causes approximately 1 out of every 5 automobile accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Due to significance of this danger, most states have enacted laws that discourage distracted driving. Unfortunately, South Carolina is one of 11 states that do not address this problem directly.

Although some legislators have tried to put laws in action over the years, there are currently no statewide restrictions against driving while distracted. The closest that South Carolina has come is a distracted/inattention attribute, which is part of the state’s contributing factors statute.

The statute allows distracted driving to be considered as a circumstance that may have contributed to a particular car accident. Other contributing factors may include the weather, road conditions, the vehicles’ speeds and driving under the influence.

In essence, this means that if a crash occurs and distracted driving is determined to be the source, the driver could be liable. However, the police and insurance companies that investigate the case may not agree that distracted driving is a contributing factor. Even if distracted driving is the actual cause, it could slip through the cracks if other contributing factors explain the situation better to investigators.

Although no statewide ban on distracted driving currently exists in South Carolina, texting while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited in certain localities, including Columbia.

Distracted driving is a serious issue on South Carolina’s roads, and it affects motorists across the state. When you’re behind the wheel, please be safe and give your full attention to the road. If you find yourself in need of a car accident attorney, Joye Law Firm is here for you. For a no-cost consultation, Just call Joye Law Firm at 888-594-7741 or fill out our online case evaluation form.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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