Distracted driving is a national epidemic that claims thousands of lives each year. Here in North Carolina, our communities are not exempt from this tragic reality. For example, in 2020, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that distracted driving was a factor in 19% of fatal crashes. The real number may be even higher, as distractions can be difficult to identify and prove after a crash. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our Charlotte personal injury lawyers see the devastating aftermath of accidents caused by distracted driving all too often and devote a major part of our practice to handling North Carolina distracted driving lawsuits.What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when drivers split their attention between the task of driving and other distracting activities. These distractions can be anything that takes a motorist’s attention away from driving, including talking or texting on the phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle, or fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system.Texting While Driving: The Most Common—and Dangerous—Form of Distracted Driving
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.Is Distracted Driving Illegal in North Carolina?
North Carolina has been proactive in combating distracted driving; however, this is no law against distracted driving in general. That said, in 2009, our state outlawed texting while driving. More recently, North Carolina enacted "Hands-Free NC" laws, which made it illegal to hold a cell phone or other wireless device while driving. Yet, despite these laws, distracted driving remains a prevalent issue that claims hundreds of lives in North Carolina each year.
Research indicates that young drivers, particularly those aged 16-19, are the most likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as texting or emailing while driving. To address this, the state has implemented Graduated Driver Licensing laws, restricting the use of mobile devices for drivers under the age of 18 completely.Distracted Driving Lawsuits
North Carolina law allows anyone injured in a car accident to file a lawsuit against another driver who was at fault for causing the collision. To successfully bring a North Carolina car accident claim, you must prove that the other driver was negligent and that their negligence resulted in your injuries.
Distracted driving is indisputably a type of negligence, which means those injured in a distracted driving accident may be entitled to financial compensation. However, you still must prove that the other driver was distracted. A Charlotte car accident lawyer can help by conducting an in-depth investigation into the accident, including reviewing surveillance footage, speaking with witnesses, and reviewing the other driver’s cell phone records.Were You Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it's crucial to have knowledgeable legal representation. In North Carolina, proving distraction at the time of the crash can be complex. It often requires thorough investigation and the use of expert witnesses. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated team of Charlotte personal injury attorneys is experienced in handling personal injury cases involving distracted driving. We understand the importance of securing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. We stand ready to advocate for you. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte car accident attorney, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Concord personal injury lawyers at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in Charlotte and Concord, as well as in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.