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Distracted driving rules and basics in West Virginia

Distracted driving is an increasing concern on roadways throughout the country. As a result, West Virginia bans all handheld cell phone use for drivers. West Virginia also prohibits all drivers from texting and driving and has special rules for novice drivers as well. Using a handheld cell phone while driving is a primary offense in West Virginia that drivers can be pulled over and cited for.

Likewise, West Virginia has a texting while driving ban and texting while driving is a primary offense. A primary offense is an offense that a police officer can pull a driver over for and ticket them for without them committing any other infraction such as speeding. Drivers in West Virginia can be cited for holding a cell phone while driving or texting while driving alone. Drivers in West Virginia are permitted to talk on a cell phone while driving if their use is hands free.

Distracted driving includes many forms and the most serious is texting while driving. This is because texting while driving is a potentially lethal combination of all three types of distracted driving including cognitive distraction, manual distraction and visual distraction. It can create a serious risk for those the distracted driver is sharing the roadway with. When a distracted driver has caused an accident injuring or otherwise harming victims, they may be considered negligent and a citation can be used as evidence of negligence.

Negligent drivers can be liable to victims for the physical, financial and emotional damages they cause in a distracted driving-related car accident. Because victims may unexpectedly be left suffering physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and emotional harm, it is important for them to be familiar with personal injury protections and claim options they can bring against the negligent driver responsible for their accident.

Source: DMV.com, "West Virginia Distracted Driving Laws," Accessed Oct. 15, 2017

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