With the recent death of an Asheville teen caused by texting while driving, more attention is being focused on this extremely dangerous activity. Thus far, 25 states have passed laws banning texting while driving. In North Carolina, the ban went into effect on January 1, 2010, and the penalty if you get caught texting while driving is $100.00. So far, few North Carolina citizens have been caught breaking the new law, but, as anyone who is on the road knows, the illegal activity is rampant on our roads and highways.
Given the difficulty of enforcing the new law, the North Carolina Highway Patrol has taken a new strategy aimed at educating teen drivers when they are first learning to drive. The Highway Patrol is encouraging teen drivers to text while driving a golf cart around a parking lot full of orange cones. The results are eye opening for the teen drivers as they run over multiple cones while trying to navigate sharp turns and stop at stop signs. The golf cart experience is gaining popularity across the state and the nation. Each student in Lenoir and Duplin County will get behind the wheel of the golf cart before the end of the school year.
State Troopers say that looking at a phone for even a split second and trying to type can mean the difference between life and death. “If we can reach one teen out of five teens who won’t text and drive then they could possibly save their life in the future,” said Sgt. Jeff Gordon, public information officer for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
While these efforts to stop teen texting and driving are helping, more needs to be done. The North Carolina legislature needs to step up to the plate. Programs like the golf cart experience need to be required in all driver’s education classes. The penalties for those caught texting and driving need to be more drastic than a simple fine. This author believes that if the penalty were akin to that for Driving While Impaired, then we might see a decrease in texting related crashes. But, again, given the difficulty of enforcement, the temptation to text would still be there. AAA estimates that more than 6000 fatalities a year are related to texting while driving.
At Davis Law Group, we help those who have seen an oncoming car suddenly drift into their lane and hit them head-on. The effects of such wrecks are often devastating for both drivers and their families. If you are lucky enough to survive such a crash, then come the months and sometimes years of recovering from your injuries, not to mention figuring out a way to pay for the enormous medical bills and make up for the lost wages. We help people find the best answers to these difficult questions. If you would like to discuss your serious injury case with an experienced, compassionate, and aggressive attorney, then contact Asheville Accident Attorney Brian Davis.