In 2012, 3,328 people in the United States were killed in distraction-affected crashes and an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.
North Carolina has enacted distracted driving laws aimed at eliminating the use of cell phones while driving. The North Carolina laws affect three categories of persons:
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from all use of mobile devices while driving, except in the case of an emergency.
- Drivers over the age of 18 are prohibited from reading or sending text messages and emails while driving, but are allowed to send and read text messages while stopped at a stoplight.
- School bus drivers are prohibited from the use of any mobile device for any reason while acting in their work capacity.
Violation of this law while operating a school bus is a Class 2 misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars. Any other violation of these laws is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars and the costs of court.