Distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic across the United States. Distracted driving took more than 3,000 lives in the year 2016 alone.
Any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, or fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system is considered distracted driving. Drivers of all ages, not just teenagers and young adults, are guilty of this dangerous offense.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is the most common and most dangerous distraction. Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds. At 55 mph, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Distracted Driving Laws in West Virginia
West Virginia is one of the few states that have a hand-held cell phones use ban for all drivers. Many states have laws prohibiting drivers from texting or novice drivers from all cell phone use. But on July 1, 2013, the state of West Virginia made hand-held cell phone use a primary offense. Drivers are not allowed to talk on a cell phone unless they use some kind of hands-free technology.
Texting while driving is illegal in the state of West Virginia and is considered a primary offense, meaning an officer may stop and ticket a driver for texting, even if there are no other driving violations present. Novice drivers, or those driving on a learner’s permit or intermediate drivers license, are not allowed to use a cell phone at all while driving, even hands-free.
Distracted driving fines in West Virginia are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, $300 for the third offense, and so on. Second and third-time offenders will also receive demerit points against their license.
What To Do If a Distracted Driver in West Virginia Hits You
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a crash involving a distracted driver on West Virginia roads, a Charleston car accident lawyer can help. DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC is dedicated to spreading awareness about the problem of distracted driving throughout the state of West Virginia and across the country. Our experienced legal team has full knowledge of West Virginia’s distracted driving laws and can help you or your loved one find justice.
Distracted driving is a serious offense with often-serious consequences. Bringing a distracted driving case to court increases awareness of the issue and encourages prevention throughout the entire state of West Virginia. Contact DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case.