I could lecture you about the dangers of texting and driving by looking up the statistics on texting and car accidents.  There are also countless stories to find on the web about people (both young and old) hurt (or even killed) due to texting drivers.  But it’s indisputable how dangerous it is to text and drive. 

Instead, I’m going to tell you about the hours I had to spend in court earlier this week because my friend got charged with texting and driving.  Yes, in Virginia it’s illegal to text and drive.  And if you’re texting and driving, you can be pulled over by the police, and issued a ticket.  And if you’re doing something else illegal at the same time (like having an expired registration), you will be charged with that too.

You’ll then get a court date.  If you’re as lucky as my friend, you’ll have a criminal defense attorney friend who will spend the morning in court with you for an exchange of goodwill and a couple of slices of pizza.  But if you don’t have a criminal defense attorney in your network, you’re either going to go at it alone or have to fork out a good chunk of change to hire an attorney. 

It also means taking off work, missing school, or missing the thousand other things that you’d rather be doing rather than going to court early in the morning to be lectured at by a police officer, prosecutor, and judge. 

Look, I know it’s tempting (and I’ve been guilty too!) I know that we are so important that if we don’t check that last text, read that urgent email, or reply to that poke of Facebook (do they even still have the poke feature?) that the world will come to a stand-still.  But for the sake of safety (and our collective sanity), get off of the phone and just drive.  

But let's face it, we’ve all been there. Text messages and email notifications flooding our smartphones enticing us to answer now. It’s no surprise that distracted driving is the top cause of automotive accidents. It only takes an instant with your eyes off the road for a collision to occur. 

And unfortunately, auto insurance isn't cheap - and these situations without a doubt affect automobile accident rates. But knowing the factors that affect your insurance premium can also help better understand why we pay what we do and how to lower insurance costs. 

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