The People’s Lawyer

West Virginia considers new law to fight distracted driving

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Personal Injury Claims

In the past, accidents in West Virginia were often connected to driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving or drowsy driving. In recent years, many drivers are looking down instead of forward when behind the wheel. This is due to the use of handheld devices.

Now, lawmakers have debated a bill that would outlaw being distracted by an electronic device while driving. Although this would undoubtedly be a positive, the law has not yet passed and people need to know what they can do to be compensated after a distracted driving auto accident.

How the proposed bill would address electronically distracted driving

Distracted driving is a major problem despite campaigns to educate drivers as to how risky it is. While there are many ways to be distracted, electronic devices come to the forefront. The temptation is too difficult for people to resist. They need to check text messages, make phone calls, read and send emails, surf the web and check social media. This can cause accidents with injuries and death.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor if drivers are caught with an electronic device in their hand while they are driving. This will include most activities related to the device.

A first offense and conviction will result in a fine of up to $100. If they are convicted again within 24 months, the fine will be for up to $200. If it is a third conviction or more within 24 months, they would be fined $350, receive three points on their driver’s license and face a suspension of driving privileges for 90 days.

If there is a crash because of a driver using an electronic device, there are harsher penalties. Killing a person in a crash would lead to charges for negligent homicide. The bill is set to go to the state senate.

Distracted driving accident victims will still need experienced legal help

This potential law might come as a relief to people who are concerned about distracted driving. Pedestrians and bicyclists are especially vulnerable. So are children and the elderly. This can cause injuries and death to anyone who is unfortunate enough to encounter a distracted driver.

It is imperative to have caring help after any auto accident. If it is believed to have been due to distraction, gathering evidence can be vital to prove how and why it happened. This could be a key aspect to a successful claim for medical costs, lost wages, long-term damage and more. Calling local legal professionals who know the terrain, the people who live in West Virginia and care about their concerns can make a major difference.