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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Richmond Cell Phone Driving Accident Lawyer

Richmond Cell Phone Driving Accident Lawyer

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, laws governing the use of cell phones and other wireless communication devices while driving are becoming increasingly stringent, and with good reason. In Virginia, over 14,000 distracted driving-related accidents occurred in 2020, with more than 23% involving the use of cell phones. Nationwide, approximately 26% of all motor vehicle crashes involve cell phone usage.

These alarming statistics emphasize the importance of adhering to applicable laws and ordinances to ensure safety on the roads. Drivers who flout the law and get into an accident can more easily be held liable for the crash due to the fact they were ignoring laws enacted for public safety. Understanding the Virginia cell phone driving laws is therefore essential not just for safety but for the purpose of determining who may be liable in a crash. Learn more about Virginia cell phone driving laws below, and call the experienced Richmond distracted phone accident lawyers of Latham & Martin if you have been hurt in a crash in Henrico, Hanover, or Chesterfield County and need help recovering compensation from a negligent driver.

Texting While Driving and Handheld Cell Phone Use Are Illegal in Virginia

Virginia Code § 46.2-818.2 makes it unlawful for any person to hold a “handheld personal communications device” while driving. Note that his prohibition is much broader than “texting and driving” and includes talking on the phone or any other interaction while the phone is held in the driver’s hand. Violation of this section of the law is a traffic infraction punishable by a $125 fine for a first offense or $250 for a subsequent offense. If the violation occurs in a highway work zone, a mandatory $250 fine will be imposed, even for a first offense. It is lawful under the Virginia Code to use a handheld device while lawfully parked or stopped or to report an emergency.

Dangers of Violating the Cell Phone Ban

Texting while driving and the use of handheld cell phones increases the risk of serious accidents. These actions divert attention away from the road, often resulting in collisions, injuries, or even fatalities. Dangerous driving distractions can be visual, manual or cognitive, meaning the driver’s eyes are off the road, their hands are off the steering wheel, or their mind is off the task of driving. Texting and driving or any handheld cell phone use involves all three types of distracted driving, making handheld cell phone use particularly dangerous.

Drivers who cause an accident while texting or holding their phone can be found negligent and responsible for the injuries they caused to another in the crash. Violation of a traffic safety law is known as negligence per se, meaning the accident victim doesn’t have to prove other evidence the driver was negligent or distracted.

Accident victims who may have been texting or using a handheld device at the time of the crash could also be considered partly to blame. Under Virginia’s doctrine of contributory negligence, this could make them ineligible to recover any compensation from the negligent driver who hit them. It’s vital in this instance to discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer who can evaluate your case and advise you on your claim.

Contact Latham & Martin Today

Virginia’s strict cell phone driving laws reflect the Commonwealth’s commitment to enhancing road safety. At Latham & Martin, we encourage compliance with these laws, as they play a crucial role in preventing accidents and injuries. We also understand the importance they can play in pursuing a claim for compensation against a negligent driver. If you or a loved one has been affected by an accident involving texting or handheld cell phone use, don’t hesitate to reach out to Latham & Martin. Our experienced personal injury attorneys in Richmond, Virginia, will provide comprehensive legal guidance tailored to your situation.

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