Social media has changed the way that we communicate, get our news, do business, and otherwise conduct our daily lives. While this interconnectedness has its benefits, it also has some serious drawbacks.
Aside from privacy concerns, peer pressure, bullying, and information overload, serious public safety concerns must be addressed as well – particularly when it comes to using social media apps in the car.
Because most social platforms are accessible and often tailored for smartphones, people can be active on them wherever they go. Over the past few years, there have been increasing reports of car crashes caused by people who were actively using social media apps like Snapchat, Facebook Live, and others.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a driver who was distracted by social media at the time of the crash, contact Teddy, Meekins & Talbert by phone or online now to discuss your rights and legal options.
Dangers Posed by Social Media While Driving
Distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents across the United States. Distracted driving falls into four major categories: visual, manual, auditory, and cognitive. Drivers who are on social media while behind the wheel often are drawn away by all four distractions, putting themselves and others in harm’s way.
Some dangerous social media activities that drivers engage in include:
- Taking selfies for social posts behind the wheel
- Livestreaming on Facebook while driving
- Trying to impress others with Snapchat’s “speed filter”
- Recording passengers in the backseat or passenger seat
- Reading or responding to messages
- Scrolling through newsfeeds or Instagram feeds
For many people, posting to social media and checking in on their profiles has become an obsession. This can be extremely dangerous when drivers take their attention away from the most important task at hand: driving safely.
North Carolina Smartphone Laws
While North Carolina is currently not one of the 16 states that ban all handheld phone use for drivers, lawmakers in the state are actively pushing legislation that will ban motorists from holding phones in their hands or against their body while driving.
The ban would also prohibit texting or watching videos. Fines would start at $100 for first-time offenses and would increase to $200 on the second offense and could include additional insurance penalties after repeat offenses.
Social Media Car Accident Statistics
While it is not always clear when an accident was explicitly caused by social media use while driving, there are some sobering statistics about the frequency of social media activity behind the wheel:
- According to a survey from AT&T, 1 in 5 people, or 17% of respondents, admitted to taking a selfie or other photos while behind the wheel.
- More than 30,000 people used the hashtag #drivingselfie on Instagram.
- The Centers for Disease Control reports that nine people are killed each day in distracted driving accidents.
We Are Here to Help
Were you hurt in a car accident in North Carolina? Do you believe that the other driver may have been distracted by social media and caused the crash? If so, the distracted driving accident lawyers of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert are ready to help you seek justice.
We’ll aggressively fight to hold the driver accountable for their actions, and we won’t rest until you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us to discuss your case during a free consultation.
A native North Carolinian and a fourth-generation lawyer, Ralph W. Meekins literally had the desire to help those who are not able to help themselves as well as to be a practical life adviser to people in his blood.