Hi, How Can We Help You?

Tag Archives: distracted driving

March 7, 2013

The following is a Guest Post from Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law in Fredericksburg, VA.

We’ve all been there. You’re driving in traffic and there’s a vehicle somewhere near you that is all over the road. They are weaving in and out of their lane, they’re stopping short, almost hitting people, and you don’t know what’s going on. Then you get up next to them and see that the driver is staring down at their phone instead of watching the road.

There are plenty of studies that show that distracted driving with a phone is just as bad driving under the influence of alcohol (DWI). Virginia, like many other states, is trying to crack down on mobile phone distractions while driving.

Driving with a phone causes unique problems because you’re down looking at the phone instead of keeping your eyes on the road. And most people are also holding their phone, so both hands aren’t on the wheel.

Vehicles take a long time to stop even when the brakes are applied immediately. Add in a driver’s normal reaction time when you’re actually paying attention. Then add in not watching the road and not having both hands on the wheel. Now you have a recipe for disaster.

What concerns me the most is that some states, including Virginia, have tried to broaden their cell phone usage laws too much. The Virginia legislature tried to pass a law this year that would have made it a misdemeanor to use your phone for GPS or streaming radio. However, they did see the light of day and realized that it was an overbroad statute.

Virginia is among the states that ironically do not prohibit using your cell phone to make calls while driving. Holding your phone to your face and talking seems just as dangerous as texting or surfing the internet while driving.

Informal surveys have shown that most people would be in favor of a law against having a phone in your hand in the car. If you’re behind the wheel, I think it makes a lot of sense that you have your hands free so you can be focused on the road. Then people who are using their phone for music or navigation wouldn’t be punished, but texting would be prohibited by the law.

Two things are clear: mobile phones are a major distraction for drivers, and mobile phones aren’t going away. Thus, this area of law will be in a state of flux for years.

Guest Post provided by:
Andrew Flusche is a Virginia DUI lawyer who handles cases ranging from DUI to reckless driving to speeding in Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania.

August 6, 2012

This is a Guest Post from the law firm of Millar Mixon in Atlanta, GA.

 

We’ve all seen the ads directed at preventing accidents caused by distracted driving. We all know that texting is perhaps the most dangerous form of distracted driving. But, you don’t have to look far to find someone in traffic using a phone to tap out messages and send emails.

The risks associated with distracted driving, and texting while driving in particular, are real and involve more than just a potential fender bender.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, texting while driving increases your risk of having a car accident by 23 percent. The attention it requires to send a text message takes your eyes and your mind away from driving, as you careen down the road with a several-hundred pound weapon at your hands

For example, to combat these accidents and lessen the risks we all take when sharing the roads, lawmakers in Georgia have also made texting while driving punishable under criminal law.

If you are caught texting while driving, you can be hit with a $100 criminal fine. If your distracted driving is reckless enough to be called “reckless driving,” you could go to jail for the offense. A criminal charge like this can tarnish your record and increase insurance rates, not to mention be a point of embarrassment.

In 2010, an estimated 416,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. In many of these cases, the injured party was an innocent victim, someone who wasn’t texting, talking on the phone, or being otherwise distracted, but was hurt when someone else was being less than safe.

In these cases, the injured party — who may have spent time in the hospital, undergone surgery, or endured long-term physical therapy — is forced to live with the effects of someone else’s poor judgment.

Fortunately for such a car accident victim, there are legal options.

An injured car accident victim may be entitled to recovery through civil laws. This means the person who caused the accident, through their insurance company, can be held financially responsible for the consequences of the accident, including the cost of medical bills, surgeries and time missed from work as well as compensation for pain and suffering.

All in all, the potential criminal and civil penalties that go along with texting and driving, and distracted driving in general, aren’t worth sending off that one last message. And for those of us who do mind the laws of the state, practicing safe driving procedures every time we are behind the wheel, we can rest assured that the laws are designed to protect us and keep us safe.

The Atlanta area personal injury attorneys of Millar & Mixon, LLC. are dedicated to seeking justice for the victims of area motor vehicle accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact them to discuss your legal options today. 

Call Now Button