Richmond, VA (PRWEB) July 28, 2011
The Virginia personal injury lawyers of Marks & Harrison say the state’s lawmakers should take a close look at a recent Governors Highway Safety Association report and consider strengthening the state’s distracted driving laws.
The comprehensive GHSA report features a review of 350 scientific studies on distracted driving. The report concludes that cell phone use increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes, and that texting “likely increases crash risk more than cell phone use.”
The GHSA is non-profit organization comprised of highway safety officials from across the country. The State Farm insurance company provided a grant to support the distracted driving report, which the GHSA released earlier this month.
Marks & Harrison is a Virginia personal injury law firm, with its headquarters in Richmond and offices across the state. The firm represents accident and injury victims, including those harmed by negligent and reckless individuals in automobile accidents.
The firm has long supported tougher Virginia distracted driving laws, such as:
- Making texting while driving a primary offense. Virginia is one of only three states with laws that make texting behind the wheel a secondary offense. This means a driver cannot be ticketed for texting unless they have been pulled over for some other traffic violation, such as speeding, running a red light or drunk driving.
- Banning the use of both hands-free and hand-held cell phones for all drivers. Current Virginia law prohibits only drivers under age 18 and school bus drivers from talking on cell phones behind the wheel.
Although there are many different forms of distracted driving, such as eating, drinking, talking with passengers or playing with a radio, texting and cell phone use are considered the most alarming. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, texting or talking on a cell phone involves all three of the main types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.
Despite the public safety risks associated with texting, Virginia lawmakers rejected several measures introduced during the most recent legislative session, including bills that would have raised texting while driving to a primary offense and banned the use of hand-held cell phones by all drivers.
Marks & Harrison is hopeful that the GHSA report will be reviewed by lawmakers and spur calls for change in the next legislative session.
In the meantime, the law firm will continue to stand up for the rights of injured motorists to hold distracted drivers accountable and work on securing compensation for those who suffer property damage, bodily injury and wrongful death from negligent and reckless driving.
About Marks & Harrison
Established in 1911, Marks & Harrison represents clients in a variety of practice areas, including personal injury, wrongful death, car accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, alcohol/drug-related accidents and pedestrian injuries. The firm features offices located in the Virginia cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Louisa, Charlottesville, Tappahannock, Hopewell, Staunton and Fredericksburg. To learn more about the firm and its car accident attorneys, call (800) 283-2202 or use the firm’s online form.