In the past several years, the number of accidents caused by a text messaging driver has soared. Many states are imposing strict laws banning drivers from texting in an effort to prevent accidents and fatalities. Currently, Virginia, along with 34 states including the District of Columbia, has banned text messaging while driving.
Some states implement laws that completely prohibit the use of cellular devices while driving. A police officer may penalize a driver for using a cell phone without any other offense taking place. Other states only enforce text messaging while driving as a primary or secondary law. Primary laws give the officer a reason to stop the driver. If the law is secondary, there must be some other reason to stop a vehicle. Seeing a driver text messaging isn’t enough to warrant a traffic stop.
Even though many states are enforcing laws, the statistics are still concerning. Within the past year or so, over 50% of drivers ages 18-29 admitted to regularly texting while driving, and 10% of all drivers responded that they regularly text while driving.
These alarming statistics and number of incidents has raised concern over the effectiveness of bans on driving and text messaging. This has prompted some districts to endorse their own laws on cell phones, texting and driving even though they do not have the legal right to authorize them.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a texting and driving incident, seek counsel from an experienced attorney. Their knowledge of traffic, insurance and liability laws can provide clarity and guidance during such a difficult time. An attorney will help you get the settlement you deserve.
For more information or a free consultation about your legal rights, or to ask questions about obtaining compensation for injuries sustained by an inattentive motorist, do not hesitate to contact us, or visit one of our offices in Richmond, Petersburg, Tappahannock, or Fredericksburg.