Most drivers know that texting or talking on a mobile phone while driving is unsafe. But the continuing occurrence of distracted driving accidents shows that many drivers believe that the risk doesn’t apply to them.
Distracted driving is one of the most common contributing factors in car accidents in Virginia and throughout the United States. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured, and approximately 3,000 people are killed as a result of distracted driving crashes nationwide.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle wreck caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to seek money for your medical expenses and other accident-related losses. The compassionate team at Kendall Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights and determine the best path forward. We offer a free consultation. Contact us today to discuss the details of your accident with an experienced Harrisonburg injury lawyer.
Many people think nothing of glancing at a phone message, checking a map, or sipping a cup of coffee while behind the wheel. While these behaviors are common, they also are distractions while driving and potentially dangerous.
Experts suggest the problem of distracted driving is likely much worse than traffic accident data suggest since it’s not always easy to determine whether a driver was engaged in distracting behavior when a crash occurred.
A distraction is anything that prevents you from focusing your full attention on the task of safe driving. Research has shown that trying to do multiple things at once makes us more prone to error. This means drivers who focus on anything other than the road are significantly more likely to make driving errors and cause accidents.
Texting is one of the most dangerous driving distractions because it involves cognitive, visual, and manual activity. Research suggests reading or sending the average text message takes about five seconds. This may sound like a brief interval of time. But the Virginia Transportation Institute researchers said 5 seconds of distracted driving like driving the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour while blindfolded.
Effective January 1, 2021, Virginia has banned the holding of handheld cell phones and personal communications devices while driving.
Virginia lawmakers previously passed a ban on texting while driving in 2009 but expanded the law in response to the unrelenting distracted driving crisis. In addition to texting and using apps, Virginia drivers are prohibited from talking on handheld devices.
There are several exceptions to the ban on handheld phones.
Any violation of Virginia’s ban on using cell phones while driving is considered a primary offense. Law enforcement officers are authorized to pull you over for using a handheld device even if you weren’t breaking other laws.
Those convicted of a first offense can be charged with a fine of $125, while second and subsequent convictions carry a fine of $250. If the violation occurs in a highway work zone, the fine is enhanced. Each distracted driving violation also results in three points added to your driver’s license.
Nearly all distracted driving accidents are preventable. The following best practices can help you eliminate distractions on the road and arrive alive:
Even though distracted driving is extremely common, it can be difficult to prove that another driver was distracted. To bring a successful injury claim, an accident victim must present proof that the other driver was inattentive or distracted and that the other driver’s distracted directly contributed to the crash.
At Kendall Law Firm, our attorneys have handled numerous distracted driving accident cases. We can help gather evidence to support your injury claim and demonstrate the other driver’s negligence.
The team at Kendall Law Firm is focused solely on representing people injured in personal injury accidents such as car accidents in Harrisonburg and surrounding areas of Virginia. We know the devastating impacts a car accident can have. We’re committed to doing everything we can to make your life easier and less stressful as you focus on healing.
No matter how complicated your Virginia distracted driving accident case may be, you can count on us to provide personalized attention and responsive communication. We will invest the time work to gain a thorough understanding of the accident and how it has disrupted your life. With this knowledge, we can craft a sound legal strategy to help you pursue the full compensation available by law.
We charge no up-front fee or out-of-pocket expenses to begin work on your case, and our initial case reviews are always free. We only receive a legal fee if you obtain compensation for you through an insurance settlement or court award. Contact us to speak with a knowledgeable Harrisonburg distracted driving accident attorney today.