Drivers in the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout our country are failing to heed the warning that distracted driving, such as cell phone use, eating and drinking, and personal grooming, causes tragic car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,166 people were killed due to distracted driving crashes in 2017. One of the most common and dangerous practices is texting on a cell phone when driving.
What Is Virginia’s Law on Using a Cell Phone When Driving?
The Commonwealth’s laws on cell phone usage are not as strict as those in other states. Here are the basics of the laws:
- All drivers are banned from texting and driving. This includes looking at, typing, or using voice commands to send or receive a text.
- Drivers under 18 years old and bus drivers are prohibited from any cell phone usage while driving.
- Drivers over 18 years old are permitted to use their cell phones while driving as long as they are not texting.
Violation of the laws can result in a fine of approximately $125 for a first offense. It is a primary offense for a motorist over 18 years old, which means that the police can stop a person for this traffic violation alone. It is a secondary offense for drivers younger than 18 years old, and they must be violating another traffic law in order for the police to lawfully pull them over.
What Are the Dangers of Texting and Driving?
There are three main ways that distracted driving impairs a person’s driving abilities. Texting is especially dangerous because it distracts a driver in all three ways:
- It takes his mind off his driving.
- It takes his hand(s) off the steering wheel.
- It takes his eyes off the road.
Other Dangerous Uses of Cell Phones While Driving That Cause Car Accidents
Talking on a cell phone and texting are just a few of the ways that people use their cell phones when driving. Here are some other dangerous practices that cause crashes:
- Taking pictures
- Reading and sending emails
- Using Facebook
- Searching on the internet
- Posting on social media sites, like Twitter and Instagram
- Taking videos
- Reading a GPS
- Searching for music to play
- Engaging in a video chat
Contact Us for Help Filing Your Car Accident Claim
If you or a family member were injured in a distracted driving wreck or another type of auto collision, the experienced car accident attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to guide you through the process of filing your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. We understand the challenges of obtaining the compensation that you deserve and will aggressively fight so that your legal rights are protected. To learn more, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free case evaluation today.