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Personal Injury Blog

  • By: Allan Siegel

    On July 1, Virginia passed a law that would allow law enforcement officers to cite drivers for texting behind the wheel, even if no other traffic violation was committed. According to recently released data, Virginia State Police issued a total of 328 citations for texting while driving from the date the law was passed through September 28.

    Drivers who receive a ticket must pay a fine of $125. A second offense will lead to increased fines of $250. Under a previous Virginia law passed in 2009, the ban on texting while driving was a secondary offense. This meant that drivers could only be ticketed if law enforcement officers pulled them over for another reason. Under the new law, drivers can be ticketed solely for text messaging while driving. Text messaging while driving recently became a primary offense in Washington, D.C. and Maryland as well.

    texting and driving

    Texting Bans Crucial to Reducing Risks of Car Accidents in Virginia

    Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in Virginia and throughout the country. Although all forms of driver distraction are negligent and unsafe, texting is considered one of the most dangerous for the following reasons:

    • Texting commands a driver's visual, manual, and cognitive attention simultaneously.
    • Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than if a driver were not distracted, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
    • According to DriveSmartVA.org, 8 out of 10 Virginia car accidents are caused distracted driving, a large percentage of which involve text messaging and cell phone use.

    Because texting places others on the road in danger, bans on cell phone use and text messaging are crucial to protecting public safety and reducing risks of preventable car accidents. Currently, 41 states and the District of Columbia ban texting for all drivers.

    At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Northern Virginia car accident attorneys are experienced in representing victims injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers, including drivers who were texting. We are prepared to help victims and their loved ones hold negligent drivers liable for the damages they caused. To discuss your case, call (888) 887-4128 for a free case evaluation.

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