February 23, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- West Virginians: Don't text while behind the wheel
Article provided by Law Offices of Kelly R. Reed, PLLC
Visit us at http://www.reedkimble.com
If you drive regularly, the chances are high that you have been stuck behind a vehicle driving erratically only to discover the cause was a driver talking on a cellphone. In West Virginia and across the United States, the dangers of distracted driving have become more apparent in the past few years, as cellphones have become an indispensible part of most people's lives. A marked increase in the number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers has been noted.
Consequently, many states -- including West Virginia -- have implemented laws to prohibit different types of distracted driving. The laws in each state are different, making it particularly important for people to be cognizant of the laws of the state in which they are driving.
West Virginia distracted driving laws
The distracted driving laws in West Virginia recently became much stricter. As of July 1, 2012, all drivers in West Virginia are prohibited from texting while driving. By enacting this law, West Virginia became the 36th state to prohibit texting while driving. Upon a first offense, a driver will be fined $100. The fine increases by $100 each for the second and third violations. Drivers who violate the texting ban on three or more occasions will also receive three points against their license.
The texting while driving ban is particularly important considering the risks associated with this behavior. A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration has shown that drivers who send text messages are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision than non-distracted drivers.
In addition, West Virginian drivers are banned from using handheld cellphones while on the road. West Virginia is only the 10th state in the country to prohibit such cellphone usage. A study by Monash University has shown that handheld cellphone use makes drivers four times more likely to be injured in a crash.
Novice drivers -- meaning those with a learner's permit or intermediate license -- are prohibited from using both handheld and hands-free phones while behind the wheel.
Hold negligent distracted drivers accountable for accidents
Motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers can have serious consequences -- from property damage to personal injuries. In the worst-case scenarios, these crashes can also lead to fatalities. In 2010 alone, over 3,000 people in the U.S. died in distracted driver accidents, with another 416,000 sustaining injuries.
When someone sustains injuries or is killed in a distracted driving accident, the responsible party should be held accountable. Consulting with a skilled, West Virginia personal injury attorney will ensure the injured party's rights are protected and just compensation is received.---
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