Justin Raber Attorney at Law

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Texting endangers you and your family

You hear your phone chime, and you know someone's sending you a message. Smartly, you don't answer. It's more important to focus on the road.

Not all people do, though. Many individuals take their attention away from the road willingly, which means they're at risk of getting into a crash. They may not see other drivers slowing down or could miss subtle signs that a crash could take place up ahead.

Texting is dangerous and illegal. Here are a few things you should know.

  • Texting involves visual, mental, physical and audio stimuli.

When you text, you're taking your mind off the road. The ding of a text coming in immediately turns your mind away from what you're doing. You physically reach for your phone or device. You look away from the road to read it. Each of these actions takes you away from the important task of driving. Even looking away for a few seconds is enough to cause a crash.

  • Teens text, but it's not just them

Reports have shown that around 11 percent of those between 18 and 20 got into accidents as a result of texting. They were either receiving or sending texts at the time. Although people consider texting a "youth" activity, the truth is that all people of all ages text, use their cellphones and otherwise get distracted behind the wheel.

  • Texting is against the law in West Virginia

Thanks to a ban on handheld cellphone use and a direct ban on texting, West Virginians should stay safer on the roads. The state banned cellphone use behind the wheel in 2013. Right now, it's possible to receive fines if you're caught texting. If you cause a crash, the penalties could be severe.

Texting doesn't have a place behind the wheel. If you need to take a call or read a text, pull over. It keeps you and your family safe.

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