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Protect yourself from distracted drivers

South Carolina distracted driving laws are among the weakest in the nation. As a result, visitors to Myrtle Beach and other South Carolina destinations need to be especially vigilant for drivers who may not have their eyes on the road.

Distracted driving is a leading cause of serious injury to pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and other drivers.

What are South Carolina’s distracted driving laws?

South Carolina bans texting, instant messaging and emailing while driving. However, the fine for a first offense is only $25, and the violation does not go on your driving record.

Talking on a handheld cellphone while driving is legal in South Carolina

What are my legal options if I am injured by a distracted driver?

Even if the distracted driver was not violating South Carolina law, he or she can be held responsible under South Carolina’s civil justice system. If you are injured by a distracted driver, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

You should report accidents to police promptly, even if the other driver promises to pay for your damages. You should also contact an attorney, who can collect and preserve evidence of distracted driving. Cellphone records can show whether the driver was talking on a cellphone at the time of the accident. Witnesses may have seen the driving looking at his or her cellphone.

Tips for keeping yourself safe

  • Even if you have the right of way at an intersection, do not enter the intersection unless you see the other driver is slowing down.
  • If you come to a stop, watch your rear-view mirror to make sure the car behind you is stopping.
  • Drive defensively. Assume other drivers are not paying attention.

Avoiding an injury is always your best option. 

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