The Dangers of Texting While Driving
Texting while driving is quickly becoming one of the bigger causes of both minor and major auto accidents. It’s important to not only know how to drive without distraction, but what you can do if you’re the victim of someone who isn’t paying attention.
The rise in communications technology has brought with it a bit of a problem for some distracted drivers. Texting while driving has become problematic, not only for those distracted while on the road, but also, those they injure. In response to this, lawmakers have been implementing measures to make sure that distractions while driving are kept to a minimum and those that do text while driving are suitably punished. Though most laws aren’t keeping pace with technology, this is one area that is quickly gaining headway. Having a Virginia personal injury attorney on your side to help you understand these changes can definitely help.
As of 2009, legislation was passed that makes texting while driving a minor traffic violation. This is punishable on a tiered system: $20 fine for the first offense, and $50 for a subsequent offense. Both the House and Senate have attempted to levy a greater charge of reckless driving, but as of yet, this has not been passed. Though these measures have been taken to encourage safer driving: the problem with texting while driving still remains and those impacted by it still have to deal with the fall out.
Texting while driving is also not seen as a primary cause for action for law enforcement either. What this means is that officers are not authorized to pull over somebody who is texting unless they are also in violation of a separate traffic law such as speeding. The trouble with this distinction in the law is that it fails to give texting the gravity it deserves. It reduces it to a secondary concern when, in reality, it is actually the most alarming distraction that drivers are guilty of. Something that directly puts other drivers in harm’s way is anything but minor.
This is predominately an issue among teen drivers. Keeping your teen safely on the road is important, not just for safety’s sake but also for insurance rates. There are many reasons to encourage your teen to put the phone away while driving, but here are a few more tips to help you keep your teens safe:
- Never text while driving.
- If you need to make an emergency phone call or read a text, pull over somewhere safe to do so.
- Invest in a hands free device and be sure that you are already using it before getting out on the road. This means, no putting the earpiece in while moving or even at a stop sign or light.
If you have been in an accident due to someone texting or using their phone while driving, you are likely entitled to compensation. Though the laws are slow to keep the pace with technology, there are laws to protect you. Contact your Richmond Virginia personal injury attorney, or give us a call at (804) 554-4444.