Texting and driving plagues our roads, causing unnecessary injuries and fatalities in West Virginia. This dangerous behavior is not only a reckless act but also illegal. If you get into a collision with a distracted driver, a car accident lawyer in Charleston, WV may be able to help.
The Impact of Texting and Driving in West Virginia
The impact of texting and driving is far-reaching, affecting individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole due to:
- Increased Risk of Accidents: Texting and driving significantly increases the likelihood of collisions. When a driver diverts their attention to a text message, their reaction time is compromised, making it harder to respond quickly to sudden road hazards or emergencies.
- Impaired Cognitive Abilities: Engaging in texting while driving not only affects physical capabilities but also impairs cognitive functions. This leads to diminished concentration, decision-making abilities, and situational awareness, all of which are crucial for safe driving.
- Higher Fatality Rates: Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths on the road. The combination of distracted driving and the force of a collision often result in more severe outcomes.
- Financial Burden: Texting and driving accidents can result in substantial financial burdens for both the responsible driver and the victim. Medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, property damage, and legal fees can quickly accumulate, affecting the financial stability of all parties involved.
- Emotional and Psychological Impact: The emotional toll on victims and their families is profound. Survivors of texting and driving accidents may experience trauma, anxiety, depression, and other psychological effects in addition to rehabilitation for severe injuries.
- Strain on Emergency Services: Texting and driving accidents place an additional strain on emergency services. First responders, medical personnel, and law enforcement must allocate resources to attend to these preventable incidents, potentially diverting attention from other critical situations.
These accidents also have a broader impact on the community. They serve as a somber reminder of the dangers of distracted driving and can prompt calls for increased education, enforcement, and awareness campaigns.
Legal Consequences of Texting and Driving
Texting while driving is illegal in West Virginia. Drivers caught texting can face fines, license suspension, and, in severe cases, even imprisonment. These legal repercussions are meant to deter individuals from engaging in this risky behavior. In addition, if a texting driver is responsible for causing an accident, they can be held civilly liable for the victim’s resulting injuries and losses.
Texting and Driving Statistics
The following texting and driving statistics only highlight the dangers of this behavior:
- In 2021, more than 3,500 people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers.
- 644 people on the road, such as pedestrians and cyclists, were killed in distraction-related accidents in 2021.
- Over 362,000 people in 2021 were injured in distracted-related collisions.
- In 2018, there were approximately 400,000 people injured and 2,800 people killed in distracted driving accidents.
- More than 3,000 teens lose their lives each year due to texting and driving.
- Texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash event compared to non-distracted drivers.
- Sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds, and if they are traveling at 55 mph, it is similar to driving the length of a football field with their eyes closed.
- An estimated 660,000 drivers admit to attempting to use their cell phones while driving.
These numbers are likely much higher as texting and driving accidents are seemingly underreported.