South Carolina is among the very few states that do not have a statewide ban on texting or cell phone use while driving. While most states have these laws in place in order to prevent car accidents, there is no hand-held ban or an all cell phone ban in South Carolina. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, but the enforcement of this is secondary. This can be very confusing, which is why you should rely on a Myrtle Beach car accident attorney if you have any questions about distracted driving laws in the state of South Carolina.
How Are Texting and Driving Laws Enforced in South Carolina?
When we talk about enforcement of a certain law, there are mainly two types of enforcement. Primary enforcement occurs when a law is given high priority. Regarding texting, this means that if the texting ban has primary enforcement, police officials can stop a driver and cite them if they observe a violation. The police officer does not need any other reason to stop you. Texting can be the primary reason for a citation.
If it is a secondary enforcement, the law is enforced if a primary enforcement offense has occurred. This means that if a driver is found texting while driving, they will not be stopped unless there is another primary violation such as speeding or driving without a seatbelt.
In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the texting ban has secondary enforcement. This means that most drivers can get away with texting and will not get in trouble for doing so unless they commit another offense which has primary enforcement.
Is Texting and Driving a Big Deal in South Carolina?
Keep in mind that even if secondary enforced, it is illegal for all drivers to compose, send or read a text-based communication. This includes a text message, SMS message, and instant messages on any online apps or even email. This law is important to comply with as distracted driving continues to be a problem in South Carolina. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distraction-related deaths in the country increased by 9% in 2015. Distracted driving deaths have declined in South Carolina in 2016 but were quite high in 2015. Already, roads in South Carolina are not considered very safe. South Carolina ranked No. 1 regarding fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2016. South Carolina also has the third-worst drivers in the country. Nearly 64% of all car accidents in the country involved the use of mobile phone.
These trends are a major source of concern for traffic regulators as well as for everyone who is on the road in such an environment. The problem is that cell phone usage continues to increase and there is no expectation that people will somehow become less interested or less dependent on their phones. Findings from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project show that nearly 91% of adults use cell phones. As of spring 2017, there were approximately 237.72 million cellphone users in the U.S.
These figures clearly show that there is no chance that people will stop using their cell phones anytime soon. However, there is no doubt that cell phone use while driving can result in dire consequences, not only for the driver using the cell phone, but for others on the road.
Some people feel that the enforcement of the texting rule in South Carolina is not sufficient and that it should be more strictly imposed since distracted driving can often turn out to be more dangerous than drunk driving. Already, South Carolina is among the last states to impose the ban, and even today, the state has one of the lightest penalties on drivers who are caught texting while driving. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has been collecting statistics on car accidents that are related to texting. Their data shows that the number of texting-related accidents continues to increase on a regular basis.
Consult with a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorney About Your Case
If you live in Myrtle Beach and if you have been involved in a text-related car accident, you should know that you can file a claim for any bodily injury that you may have sustained or any property damage that you may have incurred. Distracted driving is a major problem, and it continues to get worse with each passing day. Victims of distracted drivers often have to suffer injuries that have long-term consequences on their life. At David Aylor Law Offices, our Myrtle Beach attorney will advise you on how you should file your claim if you are a victim of a car accident. We understand the physical and emotional trauma that car accident victims can go through. Our car accident attorney in South Carolina will help outline the best possible plan for you so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.