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How Virginia is Changing Laws on Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is quickly becoming the biggest issue for drivers. Car accident lawyers in Richmond are seeing it more and more. It’s causing crashes, and it seems as if car manufacturers have little care for what distractions they’re presenting to the driver.

Although some are working to detect when your eyes leave the road or hands leave the wheel, those technologies are a far way off. All the while, Tesla has released an app that allows the driver to sketch pictures while drawing right into the dashboard, to entertain themselves when they’re not napping.

 

The Presence of More Distractions that Ever Before

Aside from apps built into cars, our mobile phones, tablets, and other devices are now connecting more quickly. That quick connection doesn’t mean that it’s seamless, however. With the lack of overlapping voice commands and protected software, these Bluetooth or wireless connections between car and device lead to more frustration than anything else.

Imagine that you’re jetting down the freeway and see your screen flash red. There’s a slowdown coming ahead, and you prepare. You take your speed down and maybe even move over to a lane where you feel safer. Then you wonder how long this slowdown will last and if you should just get off the freeway. In most vehicles and with most phones unless you have a very well-matched “AppleCarplay-Apple device” connection, you cannot voice command these questions. So, what happens is you reach for your phone. Then in the midst of a slowdown, someone hits you, or you hit them.

Distractions and distraction free driving efforts are leading to more injuries and fatalities than anyone would have thought. Distracted driving makes up about 25 % of all car wreck fatalities, and nearly 58% of all teen car crashes.

 

New Laws and Expectations for Teen Drivers Concerning Distracted Driving

A new piece of Virginia law makes it clear that there should be no use of any handheld personal or communication device while operating a vehicle. Additionally, the presence of a device should not distract a driver when used by a passenger.

These new laws specifically target the behavior of teens. Mentioned in the new law is the prohibiting of reading, sending, or opening any text-based message, including text messages, messengers, and emails.

Other aspects explain that someone can pull over to use their phone, or stop in a parking lot, but that the car must be at a full stop. Additionally, anyone reacting to an emergency is exempt. For example, if you see a swerving driver ahead of you, you are allowed to reach over and dial out “911” to reach emergency services and report a drunk driver.

The purpose of this law and the many that may follow it as technology continues to evolve is to set a clear expectation for new drivers. Experienced drivers should know better, although not all do. Even those who did not grow up with cell phones should know that using them while driving is inherently dangerous.

 

Will You Need an Accident Lawyer in Richmond, VA?

If the person you had a crash with was talking or texting while driving, then you will likely need an attorney. Insurance companies are not in the practice of attempting to gain further information on these claims when going through the settlement negotiation process.

However, when you look at fault, it’s clear that someone texting while driving is more at fault than someone who was driving safely and not-distracted. Families all over Richmond are joining together to raise awareness.

Immediately after the crash, you should inform a police officer or input your information in a police report that you suspect distracted driving. The fines and penalties for distracted driving may not seem exceptionally severe. But when it comes to handling your claim, it may be the difference between a cheap settlement and a fair settlement.

Working with a Richmond car crash attorney can help you gather all the necessary evidence to show that someone was acting unlawfully and was on the phone shortly before or during the crash.

 

Call a Richmond Car Accident Attorney About Your Distracted Driving Case

A car accident attorney in Richmond VA can handle a lot of the issues that come up when recovering from a car accident. Even if you were only dealing with property damage and minor injuries, a lawyer on your side is a valuable asset.

Whenever you need a Richmond auto accident attorney, contact CAIL. The Commonwealth Accident Injury Law offers aid to local victims of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. When turning to your local attorneys, CAIL offers a free consultation, schedule your consultation now.