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Holding a phone while driving is now illegal in Washington

Texting while driving is one of the major problems on the road today. As a factor in car accidents, texting ranks nearly as high as drunk driving and speeding. In some cases, all three dangerous activities might cause a tragic crash.

Last summer, Washington officials decided to crack down on texting behind the wheel. Drivers had a few months to learn about this law without facing penalties, but the grace period ended in January. Even though the law has made it clear that drivers can’t text while driving, some residents still take this unnecessary risk.

Just to review: the law now forbids almost all use of an electronic device while driving. Phones, laptops, tablets and other gadgets are of-limits unless the driver pulls over and safely stops the vehicle first. Not only can drivers not use the device, but they cannot watch a video or even hold it in their hand. Drivers can only touch their device briefly when needed, such as cancelling an alarm to return to navigating with a digital map. Voice-controlled devices may be permissible, however.

While there are a few rare exceptions, most drivers are committing a violation if they text while driving. Even if a driver is waiting at a red light, they must refrain from checking their phone.

Distracted driving frequently causes accidents ranging from a mild rear-end bump to a fatal highway crash. There is no excuse for causing a texting-related accident. In many cases, a driver who can’t wait to send a text can leave another person with permanent, life-changing injuries.

Despite the efforts to eliminate this risk, you’re likely to spot a driver texting anyway. If you or your family members are hurt in a crash, you can take legal action with the help of an attorney.

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