Cellphones have become a top contributing factor in many of the serious and fatal motor vehicle crashes that transpire on U.S. roadways. Many individuals are unable to refrain from using their cellphones when driving, causing their attention to be deterred away from the road. Because cellphones have become such an issue and add more risk to the road, many states have enacted laws to help reduce cellphone usage when behind the wheel of a vehicle, West Virginia being one of them.
West Virginia Texting While Driving Laws
To help reduce texting while driving accidents, the State of West Virginia prohibits the following behaviors when behind the wheel:
- Drivers may not operate their vehicles on a road or highway while texting. Text messaging includes composing short messages sent from one device to another, e-mailing, sending an instant message, and typing in a command to gain access to the internet, according to West Virginia Code § 17C-14-15.
- The law prohibits drivers from using their cellphone unless it involves the use of hands-free equipment. This means drivers cannot:
- View or send photos or data.
- Make a phone call.
- Compose a message.
- Browse the internet or social media platform.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
- In 2019, distracted driving was responsible for claiming 3,142 lives, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- When a driver takes their eyes off the road to send or read a text, which equates to about five seconds, it is almost the same as them “driving the length of an entire football field with [their] eyes closed.”
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that in 2018, approximately 400,000 people suffered injuries in accidents that involved a distracted driver.
What to do after engaging in an accident with a distracted driver in West Virginia?
When a distracted driving accident occurs and an individual suffers injuries, they may be entitled to recover damages from the at-fault party. Proving a driver was texting can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, however, there are skilled West Virginia accident lawyers available who can assist with this. If a driver in West Virginia was involved in a distracted driving accident and they would like help recovering the compensation they are due, the attorneys at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC are prepared to help.
The West Virginia accident lawyers at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC have more than 30 years of legal experience and can help an accident victim overcome nearly any obstacle that stands in their way of recovering the damages they are due. If an accident victim needs help getting the insurance company to pay their claim or wants assistance with filing a personal injury lawsuit, Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC is the firm that can help.
Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC can be reached at:
16 Sterling Drive, Suite 205
Bridgeport, West Virginia 26330