Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents, claiming thousands of lives each year on America’s roadways. Our state’s lawmakers have decided that enough is enough. Something must be done to deter distracted driving and prevent the senseless loss of life that all too often results. And any drivers holding your phone while driving may soon pay a hefty price.
New “SC Hands Free Bill” legislation that penalizes drivers caught with their phones in hand is gaining traction – and could soon become SC law. The State Senate has passed the bill and now Palmetto State drivers await the House of Representatives’ vote to find out if the law will go into effect.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road ahead.
The 10 most common driving distractions include:
- Texting and driving
- Using GPS
- Chatting with passengers
- Managing kid and pets
- Adjusting audio system or climate control
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Stress or road rage
“SC Hands Free Bill” New South Carolina Law: Possible $150 Fee for Using Holding Your Phone While Driving
The proposed “SC Hands Free Bill” legislation would make it illegal for Palmetto State drivers to use their phone while driving – unless utilizing Bluetooth or other hands-free capabilities. First-time offenders could face a fine up to $150, while repeat offenders could potentially face more serious penalties, such as a $300 fine and two points on their driver’s license. 24 states, including North Carolina, already observe similar hands-free driving laws.
South Carolina Already Made Texting and Driving Illegal
Texting and driving has been against SC law since 2014. This banned typing, writing and sending “text-based communications” from wireless devices – which not only makes texting illegal, but sending emails from other devices too.
What Are the Consequences If I Get Caught Texting and Driving?
SC laws against texting are some of the nation’s least strict, with first-time offenders only facing a $25 fine. Distracted driving statistics in the Palmetto State prove that this penalty is hardly a deterrent.
Young Adults Are Using Their Phones While Driving The Most
Studies show that teenagers and young drivers are more likely to use their phones while driving – a fact that can have fatal outcomes when combined with their inexperience behind the wheel. In fact, 39% of high schoolers reported texting or emailing while driving in the last month alone (2019). Among those who admit to cell phone use (ages 18 to 24), other risky driving behaviors like speeding were also reported.
Dangers of Driving While Holding Your Phone
There are three main types of distractions that put drivers at risk for a wreck:
- Manual distractions: Activities that require you to remove your hands from the steering wheel
- Cognitive distractions: Activities that draw your mind away from the task at hand
- Visual distractions: Activities that take your eyes off the road
Our South Carolina lawyers warn that texting and driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions.
Injured by A Distracted Driver? Discover A Trusted Personal Injury Firm Near Me
After your car crash, contact our South Carolina accident lawyers. Our team can offer the legal advice you need, working hard to recover the compensation you deserve.
Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation in a wide variety of cases here in the Lowcountry, including:
Longshoreman & Maritime
Spinal Cord Injury
Nursing Home Abuse