Don’t Text and Drive! – A Personal Injury Lawyer’s Rant

I think I am in the minority when it comes to being able to say that I don’t text and drive. I am able to put my phone away every time I get in the vehicle. It took some getting used to but now, regardless of if I have a 15 minute drive or 4 hour trip, I do not use my cell phone in the car.  I regularly see the aftermath of collisions in my practice and definitely don’t wish to join the ranks of the injured.

The ban on using your cell phone while driving came about on January 1, 2010. So why, 5 years later, is distracted driving still so prevalent? The urge to be connected all the time is strong, but it is not worth the risk.

Without the distraction of a phone I can clearly see what other drivers are doing on the road.

I am shocked.  Driving is not an activity that lends itself to not paying full attention to other vehicles, pedestrians and other risks.

The number of people I see on an almost daily basis using their phones to text or make calls while driving is scary.

As a passenger I have heard all the excuses;

But, I only do this when I am at a red light”

“I just need to text to get the address”

“ I hardly ever do this”

For those driver’s alone in their vehicles, trust me, no one is fooled when you are looking at your lap at a red light.

The fact is that when using your cell phone you are 23% more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute 2010)

As an injury lawyer I see the drastic effects even a minor car accident can have on people every day.

Cellphone use and other distractions while driving cost 100 lives in B.C. in 2012, (RCMP)

If you are caught using a cell phone while driving you can also be fined $167 dollars and allocated 3 penalty points.

What can you do to reduce the temptation to text and drive?

  • Ladies leave your purse in the back seat, out of sight out of mind
  • Ask your passengers to text for you!
  • Pull over if you need to contact someone
  • Get a Bluetooth set if you feel you need to make some calls while driving – using your speakerphone will get you a ticket!
  • Check directions and times prior to starting your journey
  • Set a good example for your kids- teenagers 16-19 years old are more likely to be distracted by a cell phone while driving. With less driving experience they are even more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Turn off your sound…..without that ping the temptation is easier to resist

Check out this video created by Honda. It may just make you think twice. Don’t worry, there is no graphic images, just a great message:

If you have been involved in a car accident and would like to book a FREE initial consultation contact me at or (250) 448-7200.

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The lawyers at Hemmerling & Associates Law Office do provide legal advice, however, we advise only clients of our firm. Nothing on the Hemmerling & Associates Law Office website, blog, Facebook or Google+ page is to be taken as legal advice.

Each individual case requires that we review the specific facts and documents in order to research and provide an appropriate legal opinion. While the information contained on these forums is about legal issues, it is not legal advice. All non-legal professionals are urged to seek legal advice from a lawyer.



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