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Landmark Texting and Driving Case Hits Massachusetts Courtroom

Last week, the trial began for Aaron Deveau, a Massachusetts’ teen accused of texting while driving, an act that allegedly led to a crash that killed a 55-year-old man. Among other charges, Deveau is facing motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation. While cell phone use (or “distracted driving”) has led to an increasing number of crashes nationwide, this case has the potential to lay the precedent for future cases, particularly because the crash involved the death of another person. Read more about this case here.

While the details of this case are still being debated (namely, whether he was actually texting at the time of the accident), this case once again sheds light on the dangers of distracted driving.

North Carolina is one of 39 states that currently have a ban on texting while driving. Specifically, drivers in NC are not only prohibited from texting but also from taking pictures, checking email, surfing the internet, and accessing other digital media. School bus drivers and drivers under 18 are prohibited in engaging in ANY cell phone use while driving, even just talking.

Of the 39 states with bans, only 35 states (NC included) have made texting while driving a primary offense, meaning that an individual can be pulled over for this offense without any other violation. As reported in a previous blog post, the National Transportation Safety Board has determined cell phone use to be so dangerous to drivers that it has recommended that all states impose a total ban on cell phone use while driving, including hands-free devices.

It’s important to educate yourself and your children on the laws and dangers involving distracted driving. Here are some tips for managing distractions, provided by the Governors Highway Safety Association:

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving distracted driving or driver negligence, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood today for a free initial consultation.

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