Like most states, South Carolina has an anti-distracted driving law to try to deal with the danger that drivers who are not focused on the road pose to those around them. Distracted drivers have impaired awareness, reaction times and judgment and are at risk of causing terrible injuries in a car accident.
Not much is actually banned
States have tackled this problem with varying levels of aggressiveness. South Carolina’s distracted driving law is arguably one of the most permissive. It only prohibits using a cellphone or other “wireless communication device” to write, send or read text messages or emails. The statute contains exceptions for hands-free technology or when the driver’s vehicle is “parked or stopped.” Talking on the phone and using apps other than text messaging are not mentioned.
Plenty of other ways for a driver to distract themselves
Cellphone use behind the wheel is the most talked-about form of distracted driving, and there’s no question that the danger has gotten much worse since everybody started owning cellphones. But phones are not the only thing that can distract a motorist and lead to a terrible car wreck. Other common distractions include:
- Food and drink
- Applying makeup, combing hair and other grooming rituals
- The radio or music player
- Pets and children in the back seat
Anything that splits the driver’s attention from the complicated task of keeping their vehicle from crashing into something (or someone) else can cause a catastrophe. Drivers who choose to distract themselves with their phone, breakfast or anything else are failing their duty of care toward their fellow motorists and others on the road. They, along with their auto insurance provider, should be the ones the pay for their victims’ pain and suffering, medical bills, lost past and future wages, and other damages.