Virginia Law and Smoking in Your Car

Amy S. Whitelaw, Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Author: Amy S. Whitelaw, Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Smoking in your car is never a good idea. In addition to the health effects, lighting a cigarette could turn you into a distracted driver.[1] And now there’s one more reason not to smoke in your car. As of July 1, 2016, in Virginia, smoking in your car while a child is present could result in a $100 fine.

It’s all because of a new law that reads:

“It is unlawful for a person to smoke in a motor vehicle, whether in motion or at rest, when a minor under the age of eight is present in the motor vehicle. A violation of this section is punishable by a civil penalty of $100 . . .”[2]

The law bans lighting and holding,…

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Snapchat’s Speed Filter: Another Danger on the Road?

Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond, VA Product Liability Attorney

Author: Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Snapchat is a social media application that users can download on their smartphones or tablets to take temporary pictures and share them with friends. Users can set time limits (up to ten seconds) on an image and send to certain friends, and those friends will be able to view the image for that period of time. Users can also send short videos which disappear after the video has ended. Snapchat has added new filters to the app, one of which displays the speed at which the user taking the picture or video is traveling.[1]

Where most filters alter the image by changing its color or adding a location to the picture, the speed filter…

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The Dangers of Pokémon GO

Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond, VA Product Liability Attorney

Author: Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond, VA Product Liability Attorney

The new smartphone gaming app, Pokémon GO, may be to blame for your child’s renewed interest in the outdoors. Although it is an interactive game, players still have to stare at their smartphone screens to play. So, make sure that your children are not too distracted by the game to pay attention to their surroundings.

What is Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO is an interactive game that encourages players to go outside and collect the game’s fictional animals known as “Pokémon.”[1] To find the Pokémon, the player must look at a real world map.[2] The Pokémon randomly pop up near the player and the player has to catch them.[3] The map also…

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Texting While Driving Illegal in Virginia (and Many Other States)

James Mick

 Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Lawyer

Sending a text message while driving is banned for all drivers in 45 states and the District of Columbia.[1]  But why?  Because more than nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured each day in crashes that involve distracted drivers.[2] 

Texting while driving is the most dangerous distracted driving activity because it combines all three types of driving distraction:

Visual: taking your eyes off the road, Manual: taking your hands off the wheel, and Cognitive: taking your mind off the task of driving.[3]

In Virginia it is illegal to text while driving, and if you are under the age of 18 it…

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Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Supports Distracted Driving Awareness Month

James Mick

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Short Pump, VA Personal Injury Attorney

The month of April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the personal injury law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen has helped to get the word out about distracted driving across the state of Virginia.

There are distracted drivers of all ages on the roads and they are contributing to the greatest driving threat in recent years.

Many campaigns take place during April to help promote awareness of the severity of distracted driving. The National Safety Council (NSC) asks drivers to take the Focused Driver Challenge and pledge to drive cell free. Websites like Distraction.gov and EndDD.org provide shocking…

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What Are the Texting and Driving Laws in Virginia? - VIDEO

Blog-JMK.jpg

Personal injury attorney Jamie “Mick” Kessel explains the dangers of texting and driving and the laws enacted to reduce this risk.

 

In addition to texting, any distraction that could divert a driver’s attention away from the road is a dangerous activity. These distractions include:

Using a cell phone or smartphone Eating and drinking Talking to passengers Grooming Reading, including maps Using a navigation system Watching a video Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Under Virginia law, texting while driving is a primary offense for drivers of all ages. A violation carries a fine of $125.00 for a first offense and a fine of $250.00 for subsequent offenses. This law does not apply…

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New Distracted Driving Study Bad News for Smart Technology

Coleman Allen

Author: W. Coleman Allen, Jr., Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Hands-free devices took a major blow recently with the release of a new study declaring them a major distraction to drivers on the road. [1] For years both car and cell-phone companies have addressed distracted driving safety concerns with products designed to let drivers keep their hands on the wheel. Now it seems that even voice recognition causes major distractions for drivers.

Details of Study

The study in question was conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and bears the weighty title of “Mental Workload of Common Voice-Based Vehicle Interactions across Six Different Vehicle Systems.”[2] It placed…

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

David M. Williams Jr.

Author: David M. Williams, Jr., Fredricksburg Personal Injury Lawyer

Distracted driving is becoming a dangerous and deadly epidemic on our roads and highways. Every day, distracted drivers cause collisions that seriously injure and kill innocent people. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released an updated summary of statistics on distracted driving and they are staggering:

Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2013 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. In 2013, there were 3,154 people killed and an estimated additional…

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Practical Advice for Avoiding Texting While Driving

Blog-RCJ

Author: R. Christopher Jones, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

We all know texting while driving is dangerous, but recent studies show that more than half of all drivers admit to doing it anyway. In 2012 distracted driving accounted for more than 3,000 deaths in the United States, with texting proving the most damaging and distracting activity.[1] What can we do to curb this destructive behavior?[2]

Prevention

One way to prevent yourself from texting in the car is make sure you don’t receive any texts, so that you don’t feel the need to respond. Silencing your cell phone, turning it off or putting it somewhere that you can’t reach it (for example, in the trunk) before you drive…

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Parents Can Contribute to the Distracted Driving Problem

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Short Pump, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Cell phone use has increased dramatically over the last decade. There is no doubt that cell phones have added a certain measure of convenience to daily life, but their use is not always appropriate. Increasingly, cell phones are being used behind the wheel, distracting drivers and causing accidents. Public outcry over news stories involving distracted drivers using cell phones prompted a number of states to take action and pass laws banning their use behind the wheel.

Almost every state has some sort of ban on cell phone use while driving and studies have shown that their enactment has been effective in reducing the number…

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