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Virginia passes law banning handheld cellphone use while driving

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When you are in a major car accident caused by someone who is clearly breaking the law, you will want to take quick and decisive legal action against the negligent individual. When a person violates traffic laws, leading to a car crash, they should be held accountable in a court of law. Violating traffic laws are generally deemed negligent behavior

Earlier this summer, the commonwealth of Virginia enacted a law against handheld cellphone use while driving that will start being enforced in January 2021.

The problem with handheld cellphone use while driving

In Virginia, distracted drivers cause over 1,500 crashes annually, killing between seven to 10 people. When a person is handling a cellphone while driving, they are distracted in three major ways:

  1. They are visually distracted because their eyes are on their phone, not on the road.
  2. They are physically distracted because they are using their hands to type or dial instead of keeping their hands on the steering wheel
  3. Finally, they are cognitively distracted because their mind is on the text message or phone call, rather than on the task of driving.

All of these distractions can easily lead to a catastrophic car crash that could have been avoided had the distracted driver used due care.

The new law bans all handheld cellphone use while driving

The new law makes handheld cellphone use of any nature while driving a primary offense, meaning officers do not need a separate reason for making a traffic stop if they catch someone holding a cellphone while driving. Voice commands are still permitted while driving, however.

Texting and driving has been a primary offense since 2012. This new law expands that prohibition to all handheld use.

Take legal action against distracted drivers

This law may have been a long time coming, as previous versions of it were unsuccessful. In the meantime, drivers and pedestrians have been suffering serious injuries or even losing their lives at the hands of car crashes caused by negligent distracted drivers.

Negligent drivers can be held accountable through a personal injury claim. A lawsuit may be the best method for victims of distracted driving accidents to receive the compensation they deserve.