Can They Prove I Was Using My Phone Before the Crash?
Did you know that the State of North Carolina enforces a primary ban on texting while driving? This means that the law is even enforced without the knowledge of other traffic violations. Yes, they can pull you over just with the reasonable suspicion that you're texting while driving. These violations are punished by a fine of $100 plus any other court fees you receive.
It all started in 2010, when federal guidelines prohibited employees and commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving. Today, 47 out of the 50 states enforce this primary texting ban. Some states even have a partial or primary ban on phone use altogether. But what does this have to do with you?
Think about it this way: What if you caused an accident because you were using your cell phone while driving? What if the accident then caused an injury or even a death? The fact is, law enforcement has ways of finding out if you were using your phone before the accident. If you think you can hide this fact, think again. Let's take a look at why you shouldn't hide your cell phone usage.
It's very difficult to hide. The laws put into effect in NC to help us remain safe on the roads make it difficult for law enforcement to find drivers who break those laws. It's difficult to tell if a person is actually texting or if they're using their cell phone in a legal manner. On the other hand, you shouldn't be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking you can get away with texting while driving.
In fact, here are the things police are now looking for when investigating your accident:
- Almost hitting an object or other vehicle
- Failing to keep control of your vehicle within the lane you're in
- Driving into the opposite lane of traffic or crossing it
- Responding to traffic signals more slowly than usual
- Not maintaining a consistent speed in traffic
- Not using your turn signal
- Looking down every few seconds
- The glow coming off your device's screen, especially at night
These clues are also used for other kinds of distracted drivers. In 2015 alone, there were more than 1,200 car accidents in NC that were linked to someone using their cell phone. In these accidents, there were also 13 deaths.
Gathering Evidence About Your Cell Phone
In order to find out what caused the accident, law enforcement needs to find out what each driver was doing BEFORE the accident occurred. This involves gathering evidence and finding out where your cell phone was before the accident occurred.
There are several ways you can incriminate yourself, especially when it comes to your cell phone use. If you try to destroy evidence or even try to destroy your cell phone, this is admissible in court as evidence of your guilt. When it comes to car accidents involving injury or even death, the prosecution may rely on the testimony of experts to incriminate you even further.
Here are some examples of the kind of experts who may be called in for your case:
- Mobile device forensic examiner / analyst
- Crash reconstructionist
- Cell phone company records representative
- Auto manufacturer
- Crash reconstructionist
The system has quite a few tricks of its own to combat those who think they can outsmart it. There are more than a few ways law enforcement can collect the evidence needed from your cell phone. To protect yourself, hire an attorney from the Ricci Law Firm, P.A.
Contact Our Greenville Car Accident Lawyer
At the Ricci Law Firm, P.A., our personal injury attorneys represent victims in Greenville, NC and the surrounding areas. If you were injured by a distracted driver, do not hesitate to call our office at (252) 285-4081. Speaking to an attorney will cost you nothing upfront! The call is free and there is no obligation to you.
To learn more about our founding attorney, Brian Ricci, click on the following: