A Reflection on Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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

As we move into May, we have time to reflect on the many inspiring and heartbreaking stories that April brought through Distracted Driving Awareness Month. What were some of the ways people spread the word?

For the month of April, many states observed a zero-tolerance policy for distracted driving[1] and officials wrote up hundreds of citations as a way of showing their communities how serious they were about cracking down on distracted drivers. In one notable campaign in Calvert County, Maryland, dump trucks drove around police officers so that they could look down into other vehicles and catch drivers who were using cell phones.…

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Happy Song Post Fatality Highlights the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle, Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

At 8:33 A.M. on Thursday, April 24, North Carolina resident Courtney Ann Sanford was making her way to work. The sun was shining, one of her favorite songs was playing on the radio, and the weekend was almost here. One minute later she was dead.

“The Happy song makes me HAPPY,” the last status update on Courtney’s Facebook, was posted just one minute before dispatchers received the first reports of the crash that claimed her life. Investigators would later discover that Courtney also posted several selfies during her drive.

A North Carolina police lieutenant called the crash a sad waste, as well as a sobering reminder of…

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A Graphic Reminder of the Dangers of Texting and Driving

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

The dangers of distracted driving are well documented, and no form of distracted driving is more prevalent today than texting-and-driving. This is why many states across the country have made it illegal to text while driving, giving police officers the right to pull over and ticket any driver they observe engaging in such activity. Unfortunately, drivers continue to text-and-drive every day, subjecting those around them to the consequences of distracted driving. This is why a number of different groups, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and It Can Wait, have started campaigns aimed at raising public awareness…

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The Facts About Distracted Driving

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

There are roughly 8.2 million people living in Virginia[1], and approximately 5.4 million of them are registered drivers[2]. With this many people on our roads, it's a small wonder that there were only 124,000 reported traffic crashes in 2012[3]. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV") does give statistics on alcohol and speed related accidents, but doesn't currently give any for accidents caused by distracted driving. However, the US Department of Transportation ("USDOT") does have some national statistics on the issue. It reports that distracted drivers caused or contributed to 10% of crashes involving injuries in the…

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Motor Vehicle Safety: Dangers of Texting While Driving & The Legal Responsibility for Distracted Driving

Author: Tammy Stafford Ruble, Esq.

We learn more every day about the dangers of texting while driving. A recent decision in New Jersey may signal a new era of expanding legal responsibility, not merely for the driver, but for those outside the car sending the texts.

According to the New Jersey decision, in September 2009, teenager Kyle Best was driving down a country road in New Jersey while texting back and forth with a female friend, Shannon Colonna. His pickup truck drifted across the highway and struck David and Linda Kubert in the oncoming lane of traffic. The Kuberts, riding on a motorcycle, suffered devastating injuries, each losing a leg in the collision. David Kubert saw it coming. "What…

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Distracted Driving Statistic: Infographic

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle - Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Distracted drivers are one of the greatest dangers on the roads today. Studies have shown that driving with a significant distraction such as texting is equivalent to driving drunk. In addition, distracted drivers are on the road in much greater numbers and at all hours of the day. Cell phones, food and drink, and even loud or disruptive passengers all slow the reaction time of ordinary people operating dangerous machines. Distractions caused by texting and talking on the phone account for more than 40% of all auto accidents.

We are only now beginning to understand the dangers of distracted driving. New laws are going into…

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Do You Text When You Drive? For What It’s Worth, You Should Know The Law

Do U txt when U drive? FWIW, U shud no the law.

Author: Malcolm P. McConnell, III, Richmond Injury Attorney

On July 1, Virginia law changed and anyone who is tempted to text while driving should take heed: Before the change, texting while driving was what is called a “secondary offense,” meaning that a driver had to be stopped for some other offense before he could be charged with texting and driving. However, as of July 1, texting while driving is a PRIMARY offense, allowing police to stop drivers who are merely suspected of texting or reading text messages while driving.

The new law is Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-1078.1.[1] It provides, in pertinent part:

A. It is unlawful…

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New Texting Laws in Virginia: July 1, 2013

Save It 4 L8r: Virginia Cracking Down on Texting Behind the Wheel

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle, Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

As a parent of three young drivers with another not far behind I was thrilled to hear about the recent amendment to Virginia’s anti-texting and driving laws. Proposed by the governor and passed with strong Democratic support, this new law upgrades texting while driving to a primary offense and increases the fines for violators. This allows police to effect a stop on any driver they observe texting, whereas previously a texting ticket required the officer to observe another offense in order to pull the driver over. Furthermore, the fine for texting while driving skyrocketed…

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Vanderbilt University Teams Up with Country Superstars to Share Important Message About Distracted Driving

Country superstars Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban teamed up with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving through a newly released music video for "Highway Don't Care." Click below to view the video and learn more.

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2013/05/vanderbilt-county-superstar-tim-mcgraw-share-important-message-regarding-dangers-of-distracted-driving/

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How Dangerous is Texting and Driving? Take the Test!

Commentary by James Mick Kessel, Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

The constant need to be “plugged in” remains a concern especially with respect to driving while texting/emailing/etc.  In August 2009 the New York Times published a game which purports to measure how your reaction time is affected by external distractions, such as texting.  We recommend you try it, your results may surprise (and scare) you!

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/19/technology/20090719-driving-game.html?_r=1&

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