People across South Carolina anxiously wait for the iPhone 6 to hit stores on September 19, 2014. The iPhone has been revamped and includes features that allow users to reply to texts without opening the Message app, and to place calls over Wi-Fi. Composing texts has also become easier now that QuickType is able to predict what you’re going to write before actually writing it based on previously composed messages. Although it may be “easier” to text, texting while driving remains dangerous and illegal in South Carolina. My law firm and I ask that amongst the iPhone 6 hype, Apple users remember to put down their device when behind the wheel.
Stay Above the Hype and Keep Our Roadways Safe
You’ve just purchased the iPhone 6, and you’re cruising down the interstate to meet friends at a local restaurant for dinner. Your favorite song is coming through the speakers and the windows are down, allowing the natural air to surround you. Life is good. Then out of the corner of your eye, you see your phone come to life with a New Message notification. What do you do? Do you ignore it, or do you reply? Well, here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you are faced with this dilemma.
Texting while driving is a leading cause of roadway deaths, yet many drivers still believe they can safely text and drive. In fact, 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country are texting and driving. Does that sound “safe” to you? We hope not. The National Safety Council recently reported that 1,600,000 accidents are associated with text messaging every year. That is nearly 25 percent of all accidents, and the numbers continue to climb. We have high hopes for South Carolina to gradually disassociate itself from these statistics.
Numerous studies have been shared across multiple sites, so these statistics shouldn’t come as a shock to you. Texting and driving isn’t a new phenomenon. We’ve all seen the heart-wrenching AT&T commercials where a young adult clutches to a white piece of paper with what looks to be an innocent phrase. For example, “Where r u,” “LOL,” and “Yeah.” The young adult then proceeds to speak, and immediately you realize that the phrase displayed on the sheet of paper isn’t so innocent anymore. It’s a text message that has drastically changed their life forever.
Our entire office runs on Macs. Most of the people who work at the firm – myself included – have an iPhone. We share your excitement over the iPhone 6. However, just as the folks at Apple have a responsibility to its consumers, we have responsibilities to each other: none more important than honoring each other’s right to safety. On the roadway, that means refraining from texting and driving. Not only is it illegal to send a text message from behind the wheel in South Carolina, it can also be deadly. So enjoy your iPhone 6 and have fun with the new features, but also do your part to eliminate distracted driving in our state.
More information can be found in my book,“Safety First, Justice Always: Your Guide to South Carolina Auto Accident Law.” For a free copy of the book and answers to your questions, call my firm today at 803-790-2800. We treat clients like family, provide free consultations, and would be honored to speak with you.