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Common scenario: you’re driving on I-64 or 264 in Virginia (VA) and you notice someone in a car talking on their cell phone or texting. A word of advice: move over to the next lane to avoid that driver.

It should go without saying, but using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of an automobile accident.

On May 8, 2009 the operator on the Boston-area MBTA transit was distracted while texting his girlfriend on a cell phone and a crash occurred injuring 50 people, according to The Associated Press. Boston transit officials banned the use of cell phones for operators while on the job.

The risk associated with cell phone use while operating a vehicle isn’t relegated to Boston. In December of 2008, a woman died in a car accident in Suffolk, Virginia (VA) on Holland Road while using her cell phone to call her bank, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Virginia (VA) legislators already banned the use of cell phones by drivers under the age of 18. My kids were not fans of this law, but I know it’ll help keep them safe while on the road.

However, legislators did not extend the prohibition to adults. Del. Robert Mathieson of Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) introduced legislation to prohibit hand-held cell phone use by all drivers but it has not gained any momentum in the General Assembly.

The National Safety Council called for a nationwide ban on using cell phones while driving an automobile. This is due to a recent study indicating 6 percent of all car accidents can be attributed to cell phone use.

As a personal injury lawyer practicing for over 20 years, I’m always concerned about the safety of drivers. I wrote an article in March of 2009 showing that cell phone use in cars is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Considering the mounting evidence, its clear there should be further restrictions on using cell phones while driving a car.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car,truck,railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.


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