Texting While Driving Convictions Skyrocket in Northern Virginia After Ban Passed

By: Allan M. Siegel

Only July 1, 2013, Virginia's ban on texting while driving went into effect. According to recently released statistics from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the law has been a success. In just the first six months since the law was passed – from July 1 to December 31 – there were 725 texting-while-driving convictions. Nearly half were in Northern Virginia.

Texting While Driving

Officials are crediting the high rates of texting convictions in Northern Virginia to the fact that the area is highly traveled. In traffic, it is also likely that motorists are more tempted to check or use their phones. Regardless of the circumstances, however, the lawmakes it clear that texting behind the wheel is strictly prohibited. Fairfax County led the state with 168 convictions for texting while driving.

Why Distracted Driving Laws are Important

Distracted driving laws – and in particular texting while driving bans – are crucial to protecting public safety by reducing risks of preventable accidents. Although any form of distracted driving is a negligent and risky act, text messaging is considered the most dangerous. This is because texting commands a driver's visual, manual, and cognitive attention simultaneously.

Here are some statistics about texting while driving:

Distracted Driving

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you are 2x more likely to crash if you text while driving.
  • A quarter of teens respond to texts one or more times each time they drive.
  • 20% of teens and 10% of adults admit to having prolonged, multi-message text conversations while driving.
  • 41 States, including Washington, DC, ban texting for all drivers

At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Northern Virginia car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured victims who have suffered losses through no fault of their own. If you or your loved one was been injured in a traffic collision you believe may have been caused by a driver who was texting or distracted at the time, call (888) 887-4128 for a FREE consultation.