Is your phone permanently attached to your hand? Can you not go 30 minutes without checking it for messages and status updates? Do you have to respond to a text immediately after hearing the “ding?” Does this need follow you when you’re behind the wheel?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may have a bigger problem than you realize.
These days, almost everyone from the age of eight to eighty has a cell phone. Tweeting, texting, “liking,” and posting have become almost involuntary acts. However, this increase in electronic communication has also drastically decreased users’ levels of concentration.
Although you may believe that the occasional glance at your phone or 10 second pause to respond to a text isn’t that big a deal, you’re dangerously wrong. According to the Department of Transportation’s official distracted driving website, d!straction.gov, the average amount of time your eyes are off the road while merely checking a text is five seconds. This five seconds can be equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. How confident are you that you could safely drive 100 yards without looking at the road (make sure you take into account that you’re surrounded by pedestrians and other blindfolded drivers). Do you still think the occasional glance is safe?
Well, the Commonwealth of Virginia certainly doesn’t.
How Virginia Responds to Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel
Unfortunately, no matter how quick and efficient you think you are on your cell phone, Virginia doesn’t care. If you’re unable to ignore your phone while driving, you will get into serious, if not deadly, trouble.
The 2013 Virginia law states that it is illegal for any person to use a handheld communication device (cellphone, tablet, etc.) for anything other than talking while operating a motor vehicle on the highways within the Commonwealth. Specifically, the following actions are prohibited:
- Texting. Manually entering letters, numbers, or symbols as a way to communicate to another person is prohibited.
- Checking email. This includes reading email as well as responding to it.
- Playing games. Any active game that has the potential to distract the driver or cause him to remove his hands from the steering wheel or eyes from the road are not allowed.
- Engaging in social media. You may not update profiles, upload pictures, or scan feeds while driving.
- Watching videos. Whether on your phone or on a media player installed in the car, drivers are prohibited from viewing videos.
Additionally, the use of handheld and hands-free phones for talking or texting is completely prohibited for drivers with a learner’s permit, novice drivers, and bus drivers.
Follow the Rules and They’ll Work for You
These laws are in place to keep the highways safe and to protect you and your family. If you have recently been injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver on his cellphone, contact us today.
Our extensive knowledge and experience with these types of cases will help ensure that you get the proper representation you deserve. Don’t allow someone else’s blatant disrespect for safety affect your family’s future. Call today for a free consultation and review of your case. We, as well as Virginia, will give you the support you need. Call (703) 721-4233 now!