blog home Car Accidents Why Virginia’s texting and driving laws help you and your family

Why Virginia’s texting and driving laws help you and your family

By Ken Gibson on June 15, 2023

Simply holding a handheld device while driving can be deadly, and it’s against the law in Virginia. More than 3,100 fatalities were caused by distracted driving in the United States in a recent year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Research conducted by Virginia Tech found that driver distraction was a factor in more than 68 percent of all recent crashes. distraction.

The Virginia Tech study also found that dialing or reading a cell phone are the most dangerous types of driver distractions. Texting, talking on a handheld device, and reaching for a cell phone are also hazardous things a driver can do.

What most people don’t know is:  texting while driving demands a driver’s attention visually, manually, and cognitively.

What are Virginia’s penalties for using a handheld device while driving?

Virginia Law says: “It is unlawful for any person, while driving a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth, to hold a handheld personal communications device.”

Some people mistakenly believe that the wording of this law means that drivers are allowed to use their cell phones while they are stopped at an intersection. But drivers are not allowed to hold a cell phone at any time while operating a motor vehicle, whether their car is moving or still.

Drivers are allowed to talk on the phone using a hands-free Bluetooth device, as long as they’re using one earpiece only. The only exception to this law is that drivers are permitted to use a handheld device to dial 911 when reporting an emergency on the highway.

Law enforcement agencies are now vigorously enforcing the Commonwealth’s rules against using a handheld device while driving. Penalties include:

  • First offense: $125 fine
  • Subsequent offenses: $250 fine
  • In a work zone: $250 fine

Prosecutors have the option of charging a distracted driver with reckless driving if the behavior “endangers the life, limb, or property of any person.”

Penalties for reckless driving include:

  • Up to 6 points on your driving record
  • Up to $2500 in fines
  • Up to six months suspension of driving privileges
  • Up to one year in jail

What does GibsonSingleton “Text=Wrecks” campaign seek to do?

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we want all our neighbors in Virginia to make it home safely every time they get into a car. We want to help save lives.

Because texting while driving is a major cause of deadly traffic crashes, particularly among younger drivers, we started our “Texts=Wrecks” campaign five years ago.

Our “Texts=Wrecks” efforts focus on educating drivers about the dangers of texting and using handheld phones while driving. The campaign employs the following strategies to help save lives:

Were you harmed by a distracted driver?

If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, the Virginia distracted driving accident lawyers at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys know how to help. We’ll file a claim against the person who negligently harmed you to help you recover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses, such as time missed from work.

We bring a long and successful track record to your case, and our clients tell us that they feel genuinely cared for as a person at our firm. One of our mottos is “big city experience, small town care.”

What’s also important to know:  We won’t charge you anything, unless we win your case – it’s our Zero Fee Guarantee. We also don’t charge to meet with you to hear your story and discuss your best options with you.

Call us at (804) 413-6777 to learn more.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.