New Virginia Laws Target Texting and E-mailing While Driving

By Peter DePaolis

Technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and to keep up on what is going on in the world. Unfortunately, many people choose to use this technology irresponsibly and place their own lives and others’ lives in danger. A recent survey indicated that over a fourth of cell phone users text message while driving. The statistics are even more staggering for younger drivers. Among drivers ages 16 to 19, almost 60 percent have texted while driving. A Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer can help you pursue negligent drivers and obtain compensation if text messaging and distracted driving has injured you.

The Virginia legislature recently passed a law that bans all texting, sending e-mail, reading, and writing while driving a car. The law applies to cell phones, laptops, and many other wireless devices. The ban is a secondary offense, which means that police can cite someone for it only after having observed another infraction.

Studies demonstrating the danger of texting while driving is what pushed Virginia lawmakers and those in 27 other states to ban such activities. Sending text messages while driving increases the chances of a fatal accident by eight times. It can increase the chances of an accident in general by twenty-two times. Parents and educators should let children and young adults know of the dangers associated with texting and distracted driving. A text message is never as important as maintaining focus on the road and avoiding serious injury or death.

If negligent and distracted driving has hurt you or a loved one, contact Thomas McWeeny, a Northern Virginia personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P to learn how you can obtain compensation for injuries.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.