Understanding Virginia's Texting and Driving Laws

The Virginia State Crime Commission is currently considering proposed laws that will tighten the existing laws applicable to texting and driving. While texting and driving is already illegal in Virginia, the state’s lawmakers are seeking to increase the penalties for this crime.

Our Fairfax car and truck accident lawyers have represented clients involved in motor vehicle collisions due to distracted driving. In fact, distracted driving is a frequent cause of car and truck collisions throughout the country and Virginia is no exception. Sadly, accidents involving distracted drivers are oftentimes severe and may result in serious injuries, fatalities, and complete wreckage of vehicles. 

What To Know About Texting and Driving in Virginia

Currently, Virginia’s laws regarding texting and driving state that:

  • It is unlawful to text and drive
  • Texting includes manually entering multiple letters or text into a handheld personal communications device to communicate with another
  • It is unlawful to read emails or text messages while driving
  • Texting and driving is a secondary offense, which means that a person can only be cited for texting and driving if the driver has been stopped or arrested for another offense, such as speeding, reckless driving, running a red light, or driving while intoxicated
  • A first texting and driving offense is punishable by a fine of $20
  • A second texting and driving offense is punishable by a fine of $50

Even though the penalties associated with texting and driving may not deter an individual from committing this crime, this type of distracted driving has caused numerous accidents in Virginia. 

So Why Do People Still Text and Drive?

So why do people text and drive?

  • Drivers don’t consider how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road
  • We are a busy society and think we have become skilled at multi-tasking
  • It is convenient to text and drive
  • It becomes entertainment during a long and boring drive

Contact Shevlin Smith For Legal Help

If you have been in a car accident in Virginia or Washington DC, our experienced attorneys at Shevlin Smith can help. Our lawyers have a broad litigation background and we will work vigorously to protect your rights and to get you the compensation you deserve. Call our law office in Fairfax, Virginia, at 703.591.0067 for a free consultation and to determine if you have a case. If you have been injured or your vehicle has been damaged, there is no time to waste. 

Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.