texting while driving

Reasonable Suspicion for Texting While Driving in North Carolina

While we live very fast-paced lives, often multi-tasking, certain things are illegal to do at the same time. One such thing is texting while driving. When you are operating a motor vehicle, you may not also be on your phone. But how does an officer have reasonable suspicion, known as probable cause, to stop a vehicle in North Carolina? After all, it can be very difficult to prove that you were texting at the time that you were stopped by law enforcement.

So why is texting while driving illegal? When you take a look at the statistics it’s easy to understand. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in the United States. 

A Serious Issue

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2013 until 2018 there were about 23,000 accidents that resulted in a fatality due to distracted driving. For this reason, North Carolina is one of 48 states that have passed laws making texting while driving and distracted driving illegal. 

While it’s hard to say exactly how many accidents occur as a result of texting, it is likely significantly unreported or underreported. This is because those who engage in it understand that it is against the law. Younger, less experienced drivers perpetrate a good amount of these accidents. 

Unfortunately, it is not a lack of understanding that causes drivers to engage in illegal behaviors. Rather it is a lack of regard for the law. 

Sufficient Probable Cause

Although it may prove difficult for a police officer to physically see you in the act of texting, he or she may be able to develop sufficient probable cause to stop you or reasonable suspicion to suspect criminal activity based upon how you are driving. 

Under North Carolina law, not only is it illegal to text while driving, but it is also illegal to read texts or emails or to type multiple letters, responding to texts, emails, social media posts, or the like. 

Consequences of Texting and Driving

While texting while driving is generally considered an infraction, it can still result in court costs and a fine of $100 if you are convicted. However, if you are found to be texting while driving a school bus, you will be charged with a Class 2 Misdemeanor offense, which could lead to jail time depending upon your prior record. While you will not receive points for texting and driving, the act of even getting into an accident can negatively impact your vehicle insurance rates. 

It’s important to remember that to be pulled over – for any crime – law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion. If you have been charged with texting and driving after being issued another traffic ticket or motor violation, it’s important to examine the facts of the case. 

Attorney Joel Hancock at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Helps Those in North Carolina Who Have Been Charged with Texting and Driving

A conviction for texting and driving can have a relatively significant impact on you. That’s why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you fight these charges and obtain the best possible outcome for you. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Couple using the OnMyWay app.

OnMyWay App Hopes to Decrease Distracted Driving

While technology has helped us in many different areas of life, there are areas where it has also caused a negative impact. One such area is the usage of phones contributing to distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,166 people. The National Safety Council reports that mobile use is now the leading cause of death for drivers, contributing to a fatality every 30 seconds. Luckily, there is still hope. 

A new app called “OnMyWay” aims to reduce these scary statistics by incentivizing drivers to keep their hands off of their phones and their eyes and ears on the road. And what better incentive is there than money? The OnMyWay app will actually pay its users to refrain from using their cell phones while they drive. 

The name of the app comes from the idea that most of the individuals who text while driving are doing so to inform the individuals whom they are meeting as to their distance and ETA. To combat this, the app creates a custom webpage that connects the driver with the individual(s) that he or she is on the way to meet. Individuals who are invited can follow the website from their phone, computer, or tablet, for real-time updates on the driver’s ETA. 

The OnMyWay App Uses Proprietary Technology

To do so, the app uses proprietary technology that can identify when someone is moving at least 10-12 mph. So long as your phone remains unlocked, you will receive money for every mile that you drive safely. This money can then be redeemed through specific retailers that are featured in the app. It costs nothing for retailers to join – unless a customer redeems their money with them. To boot, it costs customers nothing; it can be downloaded for free onto an iPhone.

In other words, not only does the app support and promote local businesses, but it also encourages drivers to pay full attention to the road. Though created in South Carolina, the app’s creators are seeking to attract more national retailers, such as Amazon, which has already come on board. Though the app hopes to soon provide users with more upfront savings and offers, at present time a user must link a credit card to the app. They only receive cashback after they have paid full price for products. 

Though security remains a concern of money, the founders of the app have taken proactive measures to ensure that customer information is safely secured. This includes the encryption of their system and their reliance upon highly reputable third party Software Company. (Many major companies, including Venmo, also employ the same company.)

Hancock Law Firm Helps Those in NC Who Have Been Cited for Using Their Phone While Driving

If you have been ticketed for texting or using your phone while driving it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced North Carolina Traffic Violation attorney. At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we will work hard to get your ticket minimized or even dismissed. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!