South Carolina Attorney Urges State’s Drivers To Refrain From Texting While Driving

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Columbia, S.C., personal injury attorney Bert Louthian says he is disappointed the South Carolina legislature failed to pass a law that would stop the dangerous practice of texting while driving.

Columbia, SC Lawyer Bert Louthian

I’m disappointed our legislature did not seize the opportunity to take a strong stance against the dangerous activity of texting while driving, but I’m hopeful people will use caution and common sense and refrain from texting while behind the wheel.

South Carolina lawmakers failed last month to pass a law that would have prohibited texting while driving, but Columbia, S.C., personal injury attorney Bert Louthian says the state’s drivers should adopt their own personal ban.

“So many serious and deadly car accidents are caused by distracted drivers, and I can’t think of a bigger distraction while driving than trying to type a message onto a tiny keyboard,” says Louthian, a partner in The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., which focuses on representing victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents.

“I’m disappointed our legislature did not seize the opportunity to take a strong stance against the dangerous activity of texting while driving, but I’m hopeful people will use caution and common sense and refrain from texting while behind the wheel.”

Currently, 30 states punish texting while driving as a primary driving offense, including South Carolina neighbors Georgia and North Carolina. Georgia’s law took effect July 1 and carries a $150 fine.

South Carolina appeared to be joining the anti-texting movement in March, when the House passed a bill that would have imposed a $25 fine on motorists caught sending or reading text messages. But the legislation did not make it out of the Senate.

“If it had passed, South Carolina’s law would have exacted fairly light punishment on texting drivers, compared to what other states have on the books, but it would have at least sent a strong message to our state’s drivers,” Louthian says. “In the future, I hope our elected officials reconsider a ban on texting while driving.”

According to a study by the Virginia Tech Driving Institute, motorists that text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. The National Safety Council estimates that at least 28 percent of all traffic accidents, or at least 1.6 million crashes each year, are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting.

Louthian says he is especially concerned about drivers under the age of 18 who text while driving. An American Automobile Association Foundation survey found that young drivers are overwhelmingly more likely to text while driving than older drivers.

“As much as we need legislation, we also need more education about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel,” Louthian says.

To spread awareness of the risks of using cell phones or texting while driving and to encourage safe habits, The Louthian Law Firm has teamed up with Columbia’s WLTX TV station to sponsor The Great Hang Up, a campaign in which drivers sign a pledge to put down their phones when they are behind the wheel.

About The Louthian Law Firm, P.A.

The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, S.C., has been obtaining fair compensation for personal injury victims since 1959. The firm was founded by Herbert Louthian, who has nearly 50 years of trial experience and is licensed to practice in all courts in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm focuses on personal injury cases involving medical malpractice; car, truck and motorcycle accidents; and other serious and catastrophic injuries throughout South Carolina. For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact the firm by phone at (866) 410-5656 or through its online form.

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