Can I text or email while driving in North Carolina?

Can I text or email while driving in North Carolina?
Oct 20 2022

It is easy to see why cellphones are so ubiquitous. For many of us, they are vital tools to connect with family, friends, work and our interests.

But what about in the car? Are you legally allowed to text or email while driving in the Tar Heel State?

State law

North Carolina law specifically states that it is illegal to drive while texting or reading an email. This is true in both personal and commercial vehicles.

The law specifies exceptions, like being parked, a first responder conducting emergency duties and using a digital assistant (such as Siri or other voice-managed software). The state determined that a penalty of a misdemeanor charge can also be assessed.

The statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2019, over 3,000 people were killed as the result of distracted driving. In addition, over 400,000 people were injured.

To put the injury number in context, this is like saying every resident of Fayetteville, Asheville and Concord was injured in 2019 because of a distracted driver.

Laws like ours in North Carolina exist to protect us while on the road. But, of course, this does not mean that everyone follows them.

Contributory negligence

North Carolina has a pretty unique consideration with regards to car accidents and liability. It is called contributory negligence. This means that if you are considered partially responsible for an accident, it can complicate your claim as you may not be able to recover, or your claim can be limited.

If you or a loved one are injured due to another driver’s negligence, you do not have to handle the aftermath alone. An attorney with an understanding of North Carolina’s unique negligence laws, can assist you in forming a claim so that you may focus on your recovery.

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