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Texting while driving is both a danger and a concern for victims

Most of us are aware that texting while driving is dangerous. However, many people may not be aware just how dangerous texting and driving is. Texting while driving and cell phone usage while driving contributes to distracted driving, which can lead to accidents that result in injury and loss of life.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18 percent of all fatal car accidents in 2012 were caused by driver distraction. A total of 3,328 victims were killed and 421,000 victims were injured. In addition, according to research, texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident by 23 times compared to the car accident risk of a driver who is not distracted. Over ten percent of younger drivers, ages 18 to 20, admitted to texting while driving, by either sending or receiving text messages, at the time of a car accident.

The dangers of texting and driving are alarming. Unfortunately for victims of car accidents caused by texting and driving, the consequences can be all too real. Victims can suffer physical, financial and emotional harm in the form of medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages as a result of a car accident caused by texting while driving. In Virginia, texting while driving is banned and the law is a primary law for which law enforcement authorities can stop violators. In addition, citations can be used to establish that a driver was negligent in causing the harm the victim suffered if the victim seeks to bring a claim for damages. While communities seek to respond to the problem of texting while driving, it is important for victims to understand that legal protections are available for victims who have suffered harm in a car accident.

Source: Federal Communications Commission, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving," accessed June 9, 2015

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