Resolve to Stop Texting & Driving

Posted by Josh Valentine | Dec 17, 2018

One of the most important resolutions you can make today is to refrain from texting while driving. Drivers who text while operating a motor vehicle are significantly more likely to be involved in a serious North Carolina traffic accident. If drivers can resolve to put their conversations on hold while they are in the car, North Carolina will be a safer place for everyone.

North Carolina Traffic Accidents

In 2017, there were more than 275,000 traffic accidents in the state of North Carolina. At least 1,320 people were killed and another 125,000 suffered serious injuries in these accidents. According to the North Carolina DMV, approximately 20 percent of these accidents were caused by distracted drivers. Texting while driving is on the of the most commonly cited distracted driving behaviors.

Dangers of Texting and Driving

When you divert your eyes from the road, even for a moment, you put yourself and others at an increased risk of harm. Drivers who do are not paying attention to the road are more likely to:

  • Run through stop signs and traffic signals;
  • Weave between lanes; and
  • Speed.

Drivers who text are also less likely to see pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists sharing the road. When your eyes are trained on your phone, rather than your surroundings, the chances of causing a serious accident are much greater.

Liability for Texting and Driving

When you decide to get behind the wheel you assume a responsibility to exercise a certain level of care. This responsibility requires that you obey posted traffic laws and operate the vehicle safely. In North Carolina, the standard of care for drivers is determined by considering what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances. Since texting while a motor vehicle is in motion is actually against the law in North Carolina, a reasonable person would not text and drive. As a result, if you text and drive you will probably be considered negligent under North Carolina law. You can be held financially responsible for harm when your negligence contributes to an injury-causing accident.

North Carolina law follows the theory of contributory fault. This prevents injured accident victims from recovering compensation if they contribute to the cause of their accident. This means that if you are injured in an accident while you are texting you may not be able to recover the compensation you would otherwise deserve. This is true even if the other driver who caused your accident is almost entirely responsible for causing your accident. Any amount of fault on your part would prevent you from recovering much-needed compensation. This compensation could go a long way to paying for your accident-related medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.

Resolve to Drive Safely

Make a decision today to put your phone down while you are behind the wheel of a car. Traffic accidents are much more likely to occur when drivers are distracted. Texting while driving can not only put you and others at an increased risk of harm, but can also limit your ability to recover much-needed compensation in the event of a crash. Want to learn more? Call the car accident attorneys at Caulder & Valentine today.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar