Boating Safety: What Does Virginia Law Require?

Paul D. Hux, Chesterfield, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Paul D. Hux, Chesterfield, VA Personal Injury Attorney

The weather is warmer and pollen season has passed.  It’s time to hit waterways with family and friends (and the dog) on the boat.  But before you put your boat in the water there are a few rules with which you should be familiar.

In 2007 the Virginia General Assembly passed a law that requires operators of personal watercraft (PWC)[1] and motorboats to complete a boating safety education course.[2]  For help finding a boating safety class click here. 

Virginia watercraft and motorboat training requirements

Who has to complete this course, and by when?

As of July 1, 2014, all PWC operators age 14 years and older all…

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Do Texting Bans Work? The Effectiveness of Laws That Target Texting While Driving

By: Malcolm P. “Mic”  McConnell, III, Richmond Medical Malpractice Attorney

Distracted drivers cause accidents every day. Many of these collisions result in serious or even fatal injuries on America’s roads and highways. Although many actions can take a driver’s attention off the road, texting while driving has become increasingly prevalent, especially among teenage drivers. As a result, many states have passed laws that impose fines on drivers who “text-and-drive.”

Delaware was the first state to pass such a law, which went into effect in April 2005.  Other states quickly followed.[1] Currently, 44 states ban drivers from texting while driving.[2] There are four kinds of texting bans:


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Boating Accidents – Statistics and Prevention

Author: Trent S. Kerns, Personal Injury Lawyer, Chesterfield, VA 

As summer rolls across the United States and families take to the water to escape the heat, many people will find themselves on boats of all shapes and sizes. Boating is generally a safe activity, but accidents can and do occur. The U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety routinely publishes recreational boating statistics, the latest accounting for 2013. The 2013 report reveals that, although the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths all decreased from the previous year, improvements can be made in the realm of boating safety[1].

In 2013, there were 4062 recreational boating accidents across the United States.…

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Attorney Courtney Van Winkle Talks About Distracted Driving with Huffington Post

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle, Personal Injury Lawyer, Richmond and Short Pump Virginia

With the amount of technology readily available to any young driver, the temptation of checking that new text may be hard to resist, even when driving down the road. Teen drivers are at risk for believing themselves to be safe behind the wheel of the car, and statistics show that many teens feel confident in their abilities to text and drive. But those five seconds of distraction could mean the loss of someone else’s life – or your own.

Attorney Courtney Allen Van Winkle was featured in the recent Huffington Post article on “The Dangers Behind Teen Texting While Driving” by Dorit Sasson. In the article,…

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Dangers of Distracted Driving Summary: A New Study from the New England Journal of Medicine

Author: Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond Medical Malpractice Attorney

The dangers of distracted driving are well-documented. Many states, including Virginia, have taken steps to ensure that drivers don’t engage in activities such as texting while they drive. Importantly, texting-and-driving is only one of many so-called “secondary tasks” that drivers perform behind the wheel.[1] The National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (“NHTSA”) defines these “secondary tasks” as communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation tasks not required to drive.[2] This includes taking on a cell phone, reaching for objects inside the car, eating, drinking and a wide variety of other activities drivers…

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Tractor Trailer Accident Statistics - Infographic

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle - Virginia Truck Accident Attorney

Every day thousands of Virginians take to the roads alongside some of the largest, most dangerous vehicles in the world. It is estimated that more than 2 million tractor trailers are cruising America’s roadways and every year they are involved in more than 500,000 accidents. These truck accidents often result in catastrophic injury and even death. Shifting and falling cargo, drowsy drivers, and improperly maintained trucks all take their toll, but in fact only 16% of accidents involving a tractor trailer are the fault of the truck driver. By learning how to drive safely in the shadow of large trucks, motorists can greatly reduce their…

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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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Brain Injury Statistics: Infographic

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle, Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

Every 21 seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. This often results in a litany of difficult choices and medical treatments for the injured and their family. Brain injuries are among the most devastating and traumatic afflictions one can suffer. They are caused by a wide variety of factors and present with a massive array of symptoms and conditions that experts are still struggling to understand. Often, brain injuries are permanent; requiring a lifetime of treatment and care.

Even a minor brain injury has the potential to seriously impact the victim’s life. Possible symptoms include personality changes, inability…

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Distracted Driving - Facts and Statistics


Author: P. Christopher Guedri - Richmond, VA Personal Injury Lawyer

Driving requires the simultaneous use of multiple skills: focus and attention, coordination, as well as split-second decision making. When any one of those skills is compromised due to distractions behind the wheel, the driver immediately becomes more likely to be involved in a car accident. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and causes thousands of accidents annuallyon our nation's roads and highways.

Most drivers don't consider themselves distracted while driving. People assume that they can handle multiple tasks at the same time without any consequences. That may be the case outside of the car, but once a person gets…

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Recent Studies on Distracted Driving - The Risks are Greater Than You May Think

Author: Tammy Ruble, Personal Injury Attorney

 In early June, 2012, a Massachusetts man was convicted of homicide in a car crash that happened when he was texting while driving.  His testimony was that he was distracted and looked away from the road for "one quick second." [1]

Several years ago, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducted a study of distracted driving which indicated that even minor distractions, such as reaching for a cell phone, measurably increases the chances of a driver being involved in a crash or near-crash event. [2]   More significant distractions, such as texting while operating a heavy truck, increase the risks of a crash by more than 23 times.  Many states, including Virginia,…

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