Virginia: Car Accidents – a Lawyer’s Texting

Virginia: Car Accidents – a Lawyer’s Texting

The Winter quarterly of The National Trial Lawyer’s “Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” The Trial Lawyer, features an article on truck crashes, “THE UNHOLY TRINITY: TALKING, TEXTING AND TRUCKING – THE EPIDEMIC, THE LAW AND HOW TO WIN YOUR CASE.” Id. at 16-18. Its statistics are shocking: “People who drive while texting are 23 times more likely to have an accident,…[a]n estimated 160,000 accidents were caused by texting and driving in 2010, and 11 percent of drivers aged 18-20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.” Id. at 16.

In Virginia, driving while texting is illegal. “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to: (1) Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communication with another person or (2) Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored in the device nor to any caller identification information.” Va. Code §46.2-107.1(A).

The United States Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) has identified 3 main trucking accident areas of “distracted driving caused by texting”:

1. Manual Distraction – the trucker takes his hands off the steering wheel while driving;

2. Cognitive Distraction – the trucker takes his mind off the driving activity while driving;

3. Visual Distraction – the trucker takes his eyes off the road while driving.”

The Trial Lawyer at 17 (emphasis added). Commercial vehicle operators who text while driving clearly violate Federal law: Section 392.80 of the Federal Motor Car Carrier Safety Act [“FMVCSA”]. Id. at 18.

A member of The National Trial Lawyers’ “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” in Virginia, Mr. Waterman has handled successfully trucking, car, and other vehicle accidents for over 30 years. His cases include wrongful deaths in addition to personal injuries.

THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR REQUIRES ALL LAWYERS TO POST THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMERS ON ALL CASE-RELATED POSTS. MR. WATERMAN’S CASE RESULTS AND CLIENT TESTIMONIALS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEY DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE BY HIM.