As if we needed another reason to hate selfies – check out the story of a Maine man who crashed his car and injured several friends because he leaned in to be part of his passenger’s selfie. Or the North Carolina woman who died when she drove head-on into a 12-ton truck while snapping a selfie.
Whether constantly snapping photos of oneself is narcissistic or anti-social should be decided by psychologists and philosophers. But, we don’t need experts to decide whether taking selfies while driving is dangerous and stupid – it is.
Lawmakers and the courts have decided something else about taking selfies while driving – it’s illegal, and you can be found liable in both criminal and civil court if your selfie-taking leads to a car accident.
What Does SC Law Say About Distracted Driving?
South Carolina’s laws covering distracted driving laws are clear – it is illegal to use your cell phone or any other device for things like texting, emailing, sending or reading messages on social media sites, surfing the Web… or taking selfies.
Using your phone to take a selfie is clearly negligent driving, and, if a driver causes the death of someone because of negligent driving in South Carolina, they can be charged with reckless vehicular homicide. If convicted, they could face 10 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Can Selfie-Takers Who Cause Accidents Be Sued?
Chances are, the criminal case won’t be the end of it. Anyone hurt in the accident or the family members of anyone killed could file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
If the defendant was already convicted of reckless vehicular homicide in SC, the jury in the civil case may not even have to decide if they were liable, only the amount of damages to award the plaintiff.
Even if the defendant wasn’t convicted, or never even faced criminal charges, the at-fault driver can still be held liable in a civil case. Your attorney can rely on witness testimony, subpoena the at-fault driver’s phone records, or hire an expert witness to show jurors that the driver was distracted while taking a selfie.
If jurors decide the accident was caused by the defendant’s gross negligence or a deliberate act, punitive damages can also be awarded.
If you have been injured in an accident with a selfie-taking driver, call your SC personal injury attorney immediately.
Any Cell Phone Use While Driving May be Negligence
Snapping selfies is not the only electronic activity that leads to highway tragedies.
Using a cell phone in any way while driving can result in injury, death, criminal charges, and lawsuits. The following statistics show why:
- More than a quarter of all car crashes involved cell phone use in 2014;
- Distracted driving leads to more than 1,000 traffic injuries in the U.S. every day; and
- At least nine people die every day because of a distracted driver.
If you were in a car wreck caused by a distracted driver who was texting, surfing the internet, or taking a selfie behind the wheel, we can help you to build your personal injury case and get full compensation from the other driver and their insurance company.