Archive for the ‘Cell phone / Texting’ Category

West Virginia Drivers May Be Distracted By In-Car Electronics

Oct 2014

In-vehicle electronics are very common, but they can also create significant risks for motorists. A driver who uses a cell phone, an infotainment system or other electronic devices while driving is not as focused on the road as he or she should be. The result is that the driver puts himself and other motorists in danger.

Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that multitasking can have a long-term negative effect on the brain. As a result, people who multitask and drive while distracted most frequently may be the worst at doing so safely. Furthermore, while drivers may think that they can be safe if they use hands-free kits, the reality is that systems designed to allow voice control of your electronics may actually be even more dangerous than cell phones. Drivers need to make the choice not to drive while distracted for any reason, and an experienced personal injury lawyer should be consulted for help if a distracted motorist causes a collision.

Multitasking and Car Accident Risks

According to Forbes, researchers from Stanford found that multitasking is less effective than doing one thing at a time. Unfortunately, people who are regularly bombarded with multiple streams of information or who frequently try to do multiple things at once can actually become worse at managing to split their attention.

The problem is that those who multitask performance worse if they are asked to focus because they have more difficulty filtering out irrelevant information, they are slower at organizing the thoughts they have, and they are slower at switching from one task to another.

This is bad news for road safety, as drivers who frequently multitask may become less capable of effectively focusing on the road. This risk exists not just for drivers who use handheld systems, but also for motorists using hands-free systems as well. Hands-free systems still divert brain energy away from paying attention to the road, and drivers cannot drive safely and effectively when using these systems.

Yahoo News reported on a recent study where drivers were tested on a simulated driving course using Apple’s Siri and using infotainment systems in vehicles made by car makers including Chevrolet, Hyundai, Mercedes, Ford and Chrysler. Each of the different systems were hands-free and were assigned a distraction score on a scale of one to five, with one being the least distracting and five the most distracting.

Siri was found to be the most distracting, with a distraction rating of 4.14. Several drivers who were on a simulated driving course and who were trying to use Siri actually rear-ended vehicles in front of them. Of the infotainment systems in vehicles, the MyLink by Chevrolet was the most distracting and it received a distraction score of 3.7. Although some of the other infotainment systems performed better, all were found to be more distracting than manually using a cell phone or entering data. As a result, drivers who believe hands-free systems are safer are misinformed. Motorists need to know that they should always stay focused on the road, and only on the road, while operating their vehicle.

Contact a West Virginia accident attorney at the Recht Law Offices.  Call 1-800-487-8546 today for a free consultation or visit

West Virginia Traffic Accidents: Who’s Texting Who?

Dec 2013

Distracted driving has become a major concern, and many of the educational efforts aimed at reducing the thousands of annual distracted-driving deaths focus on teaching teens not to engage in this high risk behavior. The reality, however, is that anti-distracted driving programs may be better aimed at young adults, since a new study shows that teens are actually not the age group most likely to text as they drive.

An experienced texting and driving accident lawyer in West Virginia knows that texting and driving is dangerous no matter who is doing it. Whatever your age or your driving experience, it is important to put the phone down while you are in the car and not to send or read texts while you should be focusing on the road.

Adults Text And Drive More than Teens

The new data suggesting that young adults are worse than teens when it comes to texting laws was collected by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and has been published in a new study. According to the AAA data:

  • A total of 58 percent of drivers aged 16-18 reported using the phone while driving. Twenty-percent of teens in this age group said they use the phone fairly often. Thirty-one percent have sent a text or email while driving, and seven percent regularly send texts or emails as they drive.
  • Among drivers 19-24, 72 percent used the phone while driving and 27 percent did so fairly often. When it comes to texting, 42 percent said they’ve done it, and 11 percent said they do it often.
  • A total of 82 percent of drivers aged 25-39 used the phone while driving, with 42 percent saying they did so fairly often. Almost half – 45 percent – of drivers in this demographic said that they have texted while 10 percent report texting often.
  • Seventy-two percent of drivers aged 40-59 use the phone as they drive, but just 30 percent do so fairly often. Just 24 percent of drivers in this age group said they text and drive, and only two percent do so regularly.
  • Among drivers aged 60-74, 51 percent said they use the phone while driving and 15 percent said they do so regularly. In this age group, seven percent had sent a text behind the wheel and one percent did so routinely.
  • A total of 31 percent of drivers aged 75 and older use the phone while driving, but only seven percent do so regularly. Among people in this age range, only one percent report either sending a text ever or sending a text regularly.

This data suggests that people may start to text more as they get a little experience behind the wheel but before they are old enough to fully understand the consequences of this serious high-risk driving behavior.

Car accident lawyers in West Virginia can help if you were hurt in a crash. Call Recht Law Office today at 1-800-HURTLINE for a  free case consultation.

NHTSA Releases Mixed Findings on Traffic Accident Deaths and Injuries in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia

When it comes to the latest statistics on Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio car accident injuries and fatalities, there’s good news and bad news. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration recently released a revised edition of their latest “Traffic Safety Facts” publication, which tallies motor vehicle crashes and auto accident deaths throughout the nation.

Ohio motor vehicle accident deaths went up 5.7%, from 1,022 in 2009, whereas in 2010 there were 1,080 fatalities. Pennsylvania road fatalities rose by 5.4% in 2010, with 1,324 deaths—68 more than the previous year. In West Virginia, however, the news was better, with a 12% decrease in fatalities from car accidents, truck crashes and motorcycle wrecks overall, from 357 in 2009 to 315 the following year.

West Virginia personal injury lawyers at Recht Law Offices encourages all drivers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to always drive defensively, no matter what the statistics say. It only takes one distracted driver who is texting behind the wheel in Pennsylvania, a drunk driver in West Virginia or a sleepy truck driver barreling through Ohio to change your life forever.

Nationally, the report details accident statistics pertaining to everything from age to time of day. For instance, fatalities among motorcyclists 50 and older increased by 119, whereas motorcyclist fatalities for drivers under 50 declined by 84 deaths. Nighttime auto accident fatalities went down; of the 998 fewer fatalities in 2010, there were 857 fewer fatalities in nighttime crashes.

With our region’s mix of dense urban traffic zones and remote rural roads, drivers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia must be ready for anything: a passenger car head-on collision in town, a commercial truck jack-knife on a highway or an SUV rollover on a curving country road.

If you or someone you love suffered a car, truck or motorcycle accident injury, or a loved one died in an auto accident, contact the experienced, aggressive Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia personal injury attorneys at Recht Law Office. Call us today at 1-800-HURTLINE or complete the online contact form. We understand your pain and can put experience and resources to work for you.

Recht Law Offices

3405 Main Street

Weirton, WV 26062

Report shows a drop in West Virginia DUI arrests between 2008 and 2010

A study by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources shows that the number of DUI arrests has steadily declined between 2008 and 2010.

According to a report in The Register-Herald in Beckley, statewide, 6,886 DUI arrests were made in 2008; 6,622 in 2009; and 6,154 in 2010.

The decline in drunk driving arrests certainly is a positive and welcomed trend. As car accident lawyers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, we have seen how the negligence of drunk drivers can cause heartache on the highways. In a flash, an intoxicated driver can destroy a life and devastate the family members of the accident victim.

It’s important to know your rights if you or a loved one was injured in a driving under the influence accident. Contact Recht Law Offices for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys fight hard to get the compensation clients need for their losses.

While it’s heartening to hear about any decline in DUI arrests, it’s alarming to find out that two counties experienced significant increase in arrests for drunk driving between 2008 and 2010: Raleigh and Greenbrier counties. The Register-Herald reports that Raleigh County had 240 DUI arrests in 2008, 255 in 2009 and 276 in 2010. The numbers for Greenbrier County: 156 arrests in 2008, 190 in 2009, and 229 in 2010.

The disturbing upswing in arrests may not necessarily mean more drunk drivers are on the road. There may be stricter enforcement of DUI laws in those counties. One thing’s for sure: Intoxicated people are continuing to drive when they should hand the keys to a sober driver or call a cab. Despite public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, this type of negligent behavior continues to put other motorists and pedestrians at risk of serious injury or death.

While the study focused on West Virginia, driving under the influence accidents can happen anywhere. A drunk driver causes a death on the road twice every hour in the United States. Victims who have been seriously injured may be entitled to recover for lost income, medical bills, emotional trauma, the costs associated with the repair of their damaged vehicles, and more. In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may be necessary.

Representing clients in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, Recht Law Offices can put experience and resources to work for the injured and their families. Call 1-800-HURTLINE today for a free case review or visit Let an experienced personal injury lawyer protect your rights.

Recht Law Offices

3405 Main Street

Weirton, WV 26062-4505