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What defines distracted driving in Virginia?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Traffic Offenses

Distracted driving is a major traffic concern across the United States. Virginia takes this issue very seriously. Understanding how distracted driving is defined in Virginia is important for all drivers to help prevent accidents and avoid hefty penalties.

Defining distracted driving

Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from operating the vehicle safely. The NHTSA reported that it was a dangerous practice that took over 3,000 lives in 2022. Distracted driving includes a range of behaviors, from using a mobile phone to eating, adjusting the radio, or interacting with passengers.

Cell phone use

One of the most common forms of distracted driving involves the use of cell phones. Virginia law prohibits drivers from holding a handheld personal communications device while driving. This means no texting, reading, or holding your phone for calls when behind the wheel.

Other forms of distraction

Aside from cell phones, many other activities can lead to citations for distracted driving. These include reading maps, adjusting a GPS, or any activity that impairs the driver’s ability to focus. Anything that takes your mind and eyes off the road is a form of distraction.

Penalties for distracted driving

The penalties for distracted driving in Virginia can be severe. First-time offenders can face fines. For repeated offenses or if the distraction leads to an accident, the consequences can include higher fines and points on your driving record.

Safety measures and laws help in mitigating risks. But the responsibility ultimately lies with each driver. If you find yourself cited for distracted driving, you may wish to discuss your options with legal representation.