Texting or using a cellphone while behind the wheel is illegal – and a risky move

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Washington law unequivocally prohibits drivers from using cellphones or wireless devices while driving. Washington revised its cellphone law in 2010 with the hopes of deterring the use of cellphones while driving. Under this law, police can pull a motorist over if they spot a driver holding a cellphone to his ear or texting while driving. If found guilty, this traffic offense can carry a fine. Additional fines and other penalties can easily result if a crash is involved.

Why is texting while driving illegal?

Texting while driving is illegal because the act is dangerous.  For the doubters among us, consider the following:

  • As estimated by www.distraction.gov (the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving), over 3,300 people were killed in distraction-affected vehicle crashes in 2012.
  • Thirteen percent of all drivers in the United States between the ages of 18 and 20 admit to texting or talking on their cellphone at the time of an accident.

Drunken, texting driver #1 … what were you thinking?

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A Bonney Lake bicyclist was hurt after being struck by a motorist police say was drunk and texting. The accident occurred at approximately 10 p.m. on state Route 410 at E. 171st Ave. The 53-year-old bicyclist suffered a broken ankle and several abrasions from the collision.

Washington State Patrol troopers eventually arrested the automobile driver. He was a 23-year-old resident of Lake Tapps. According to troopers, he was drunk and sending a text message when the collision occurred. The driver was later booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of vehicular assault.

To add insult to injury, the motorist failed to stop after the accident took place. The driver eventually returned to the scene once another motorist informed him that he had hit a cyclist.

Texting driver #2 … what were you thinking?

A teenage driver struck and injured an unidentified 63-year-old female pedestrian in Arlington. The accident took place in the 17100 block of N.W. McRae Road. The time of the incident was approximately 8:45 a.m.

The driver, 16, was texting while driving. As she was texting, the side mirror of her vehicle struck the pedestrian and knocked her to the ground. The pedestrian was taken to Providence Medical Center with a broken hand, and bruising to her hip and arm.

The teen driver immediately pulled over following the accident and ran to check on the injured pedestrian. “I was texting,” she said. “I’m sorry.” While the apology was a noble act, the act of texting while driving is a dangerous one.

Drive smart!

Despite the statistics, many of us cannot resist the urge to talk on our cellphones or text while driving. The truth, though, is that these acts can result in injuries to innocent people. This took place in Bonney Lake, it took place in Arlington, and it can take place in your community unless we all become smarter drivers. Lead by example and resist the urge to use your cellphone while behind the wheel. Just drive smart!  Smart drivers are responsible drivers and they help increase the safety of us all.

Please note that if you’ve been injured in an automobile accident by a motorist who was using a cellphone, you have the right to file a civil suit to recover costs due to any injuries you may have sustained. The skilled personal injury law firm can help you exercise this right.

Learn more about Phillips Law Firm and their commitment to justice for those injured by the negligence and carelessness of others. For more information about injury claims you can download their free informational eBook titled “Washington Injury Guide.”