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Can putting cellphone down while driving prevent an accident?

Driving in Virginia often means that the roadways are either foggy or covered in snow or mist. In the best conditions, if someone is driving distracted, he or she is putting everyone he or she meets on the road in danger. Texting and talking on a cellphone are the main reasons people are distracted at the wheel.

School bus drivers are prohibited to drive while using their cellphones for any reason. If they are caught, not only will they face a ticket, fines and a court visit, they may even be fired from their jobs so it makes sense to follow the law in this case. Fourteen states in the U.S. prohibit driving and cellphone use altogether. Virginia is not one of them.

However, if you are under 18, you may not use a cellphone while driving. This is for everyone's safety. An officer can cite you for a ticket if you are caught. In other words, he or she doesn't have to stop you for another reason, such as speeding, and issue you two tickets for both offenses. He or she can stop you -- if the officer believes you are under 18 -- for using a cellphone while driving in Virginia.

If you have been in a car accident because someone was driving while distracted by his or her cellphone usage, you know this was totally preventable. Sometimes, no matter how carefully you are driving, someone comes out of nowhere and hits you.

Knowing the laws of the road is crucial. You have the right to call in a professional to help with pushy insurance companies who want you to sign a document, after paying you a small amount of money, which says you won't seek further damages in court. Don't be a victim twice.

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, "Distracted Driving Laws," Aug. 01, 2015

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