Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Are there laws in Virginia addressing texting and driving?

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There are just about an infinite amount of ways in which a car accident in Virginia can happen. For example, someone could run a red light, fail to yield to oncoming traffic or drive above the posted speed limit, causing a serious car accident. Or, take for example, dangerous behavior by a drunk driver. A drunk driver could swerve between lanes or even drive the wrong-way down the road, causing a car crash. Another behavior that may lead to a car accident that should not go overlooked, however, is distracted driving.

What is distracted driving? It basically comes down to paying attention to something other than the road and the task of driving safely. There are many ways a driver could be distracted, but this post will specifically look at one cause of distracted driving: cellphone use.

Cellphones are ubiquitous these days. Not only can one send and receive calls and text messages, but they can be used to send and receive email, surf the Internet, play games, take photos and so much more. However, none of these activities should be done while driving, which is why Virginia has laws in place regarding cellphone use while driving.

First of all, it is against the law for all drivers of all ages in Virginia to text while driving. In addition, novice drivers -- which are drivers under 18-years-old -- may not use their cellphone at all while driving, either hands-free or handheld. Similarly, school bus drivers in Virginia may not use their cellphones at all while driving, either hands-free or handheld.

Distracted driving is a serious issue on Virginia's roads. If you are driving, don't use your cellphone. The text, the call or email can wait until you are through driving. Cellphone use while driving can cause serious car accidents that could injure or even kill another person. If you have been the victim of a car accident caused by a driver who was using a cellphone, you may want to determine whether that driver was negligent, and whether you can take legal action against him or her.

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