West Virginia Distracted Driving Lawyer
Distracted driving is an epidemic that must be stopped. West Virginia distracted driver crashes should no longer cause drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others on the road to suffer serious injury or death.
Texting and Driving Information
One of the most important websites in recent years is the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving, Distraction.gov. According to the information therein, texting while driving is considered one of the most dangerous of all distracted driving behaviors. Some of the most revealing information about texting and driving are contained in these two facts:
- “Text messaging while driving creates a crash risk that is 23 times worse than driving while not distracted”
- “Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55 mph – of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.” (source: Distraction.gov)
More Texting and Driving Information
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Injury Prevention and Control, in the U.S. on a daily basis:
- More than 9 people are killed by a distracted driver
- More than 1,060 people are injured in crashes due to a distracted driver
- There are three main forms of distraction:
- Visual: when the eyes are taken off the road
- Manual: when the hands are taken off the steering wheel
- Cognitive: when the mind is taken off driving
- During texting and driving, the driver is distracted in all three ways – visually, manually and cognitively (source: cdc.gov)
Car Accidents Due to Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.
Texting requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver making it one of the most dangerous distractions while driving. West Virginia lawmakers have taken action to protect everyone on the road by passing a texting and use of handheld cell phone ban.
Know the Law
West Virginia is one of 14 states that prohibits the use of all handheld devices while driving. Originally, the handheld cell phone ban was a secondary law, which meant an officer can issue a ticket for using a handheld device only after pulling you over for different offense, such as running a stop sign or speeding.
However, as of July 1, 2013, this ban has become a primary law. That means a police officer can pull you over simply for seeing you text while driving. A first offense results in a $100 fine, a second offense costs $200 and a third and any subsequent ais a $300 fine plus three points on your license.
Text messaging is banned for all drivers in West Virginia along with 44 other states and the District of Columbia.
Know the Statistics
Texting while driving greatly increases the risk of an accident. In fact, texting while driving is about six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated. It can increase your chances of a crash by 23 times and slows your brake reaction speed by 18%.
Texting while driving is a growing trend, and a national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don’t lie.
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
- The National Safety Council reports that texting while driving causes around 1.6 million accidents per year which accounts for nearly 25% of all car accidents in the United States. This results in more than 330,000 injuries each year.
- It is the number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers. The Institute for Highway Safety reports that there are 11 teen deaths EACH DAY caused my texting while driving.
Know the Safe Practices
There are many things you can do to prevent an accident due to cell phone use. The most important is to never text or talk on the phone while driving.
Place it in your purse, the glove compartment, or stowed away in the back seat so that you will not be tempted to answer a call or text. You can also turn down the volume and any notifications you may receive. The less you hear your phone, the less tempted you'll be to respond while you're driving.
If you absolutely must answer a message or call pull over into a parking lot, or other safe location, and complete the correspondence while you are stopped as opposed to while driving. You’ll avert the danger of a crash and be more focused on completing your message or call.
It is also important to be a good passenger and speak out if the driver you are riding with is distracted by their phone or any other distractions that may arise. You can also encourage your friends and family to drive phone-free.
Contact Our West Virginia Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an accident involving a distracted driver due to texting or cell phone use, or another unsafe driving practice, you may be eligible to collect compensation and should contact an experienced car accident lawyer. The car accident attorneys at Colombo Law, represent clients throughout West Virginia. Our firm offers free initial consultations on car accident cases.