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Texting and Driving Accident Attorneys in Charleston

Texting while driving

Drive OR Text

NASCAR drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards recently filmed a video where they attempted to navigate a cone course while texting. They ended up toppling many cones along the way, sending out a clear message: texting while driving takes your eyes off the road, can cause your car to drift from its path, and causes destruction.

In the words of an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah, “When we look at dual-tasking-doing two things at once-there is a limited amount of attention that we can dedicate to each of those tasks. With text messaging and driving, it’s not one or the other; it’s either, or. During the time people are text messaging, they are driving blind.”

Cell phones are the leading cause of driver distraction. In 2011, the Harris Poll found that 60% of drivers used cell phones while driving. Every day, we observe drivers in front of us weave, swerve or have difficulty staying within a lane- most of the time, when we pass these drivers, we notice that they are on their cell phones.

Studies and Statistics on Distracted Driving

According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes 1,600,000 accidents per year. It also causes 330,000 injuries per year and eleven teen deaths per day according to information obtained by the Harvard Center of Risk Analytics Study and the Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts. Other shocking statistics include the following:

  • People who text while driving are 23 times more likely to get into a crash
  • It has been estimated that distracted driving is involved in around 80% of all car accidents and 65% of near crashes nationwide
  • Texting while driving decreases response time to traffic signals and brake lights by about 20 to 30 percent
  • Texting takes your eyes off of the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving an entire football field blindfolded.
  • Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
  • Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. Alcohol-related accidents among teens have dropped, but teenage traffic fatalities have remained unchanged.

Why is Texting While Driving so Dangerous?

In a test by Caranddriver.com, compared to an unimpaired person, it took a man legally drunk an added 4 feet to brake and a man sending a text an added 70 feet. According to one blog, “…it takes the average person about 6 seconds to be able to come to a complete stop if they are traveling at 60mph. This is a small window to react and stop in interstate traffic with virtually no margin for error. If you add in even the 2-3 seconds that your eyes were off the road reading or sending a text message, then the margin for error evaporates and an accident is inevitable.”

The reality is that when a driver is texting, he/she takes their eyes off of the road, their hands off of the wheel and their minds off of driving. All drivers have a duty of car to the other motorists around them, and when they drive in a negligent, distracted manner and it results in injury to someone else, they can be held liable for damages.

West Virginia Laws on Cell Phone Use

On March 10th, 2015, West Virginia became the 41st state to pass a bill that banned texting while driving. This law kicked into effect on July 1. The law penalizes violators. First time offenders must pay a $100 fine, whereas second time offenders must pay $200 and third-time offenders must pay $300. Three points are assessed against a driver’s license on third and subsequent violations. Other state laws include:

  • Under West Virginia law, text messaging and cell phone use are primary offenses, but hands-free devices are allowed while driving.
  • Teenager’s with learner’s permits or intermediate licenses are prohibited from using wireless communication devices while driving- breaking this law is a primary offense.
  • School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while operating their vehicles.

While currently using a hand-held phone is a secondary offense (which means that an officer must see another violation before pulling someone over), on July 1, 2013 these will become primary offenses, which means an officer will be able to pull individuals over and ticket them simply for using a hand-held phone.

Texting and Driving Accident Attorneys in Charleston, WV

When individuals break the law and text while driving, they can cause the motorists around them injuries, from more minor cuts and scrapes and broken bones, to more serious injuries such as brain injuries.

After an accident involving a driver who was texting, you can fight for damages such as medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, lost wages and earning potential, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, when applicable, and long-term medical care when necessary.

When someone’s carelessness causes you harm, you should not remain a victim! After getting the medical care you need, you should fight back for the compensation from a car accident you deserve. When you need an aggressive representative on your side to help you strive for maximum compensation, Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC is here to help. With over 35 years of experience, our motor vehicle accident firm is a source you can trust.

As members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, our firm has proven successful in the past with car accident case. Don’t feel helpless any longer; get the legal help you need by picking up your phone and calling Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC today!