Currently, most North Carolina drivers do not have restrictions regarding talking on a cellphone while behind the wheel. However, a texting while driving ban took effect in 2009. The team at Christina Rivenbark & Associates work with clients for a fine reduction and dismissal of distracted driving charges.

Esurance reports that distracted driving is more than talking on the phone while driving. It occurs whenever a driver’s focus is not on the road. It comes in three forms:

  • Manual distractions occur when a driver removes one or both hands from the wheel. This could be as a result of eating or drinking, changing the music selection or modifying the navigation system.
  • Visual distractions happen when you look away from the road. It may be to check the passengers in the back, or due to looking at an electronic device, such as an onboard entertainment system, tablet or cell phone.
  • Cognitive distractions are those that occur when your mind is not on the road. Talking with other passengers or stress over non-driving related issues qualify as mental distractions.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Commit to reducing or eliminating distracted driving by taking steps that make it easier to focus on the road. Turn off your phone during the drive, or if you cannot, make sure it is hands-free enabled.

Strap children and pets into their seats and carriers carefully and securely before beginning the drive. If an incident occurs while you are in transit, pull over and handle the situation safely. Snack and drink before you drive so that you can maintain road focus during your trip. Set the navigational equipment before leaving, which reduces mental, visual and cognitive distractions.

It is illegal for anyone to text and drive in North Carolina. However, if law enforcement pulls you over and cites you erroneously, you may challenge it in front of a judge. Visit our website for more information on this topic.