West Virginia‘s new law banning handheld cellphone use while driving won’t go into effect until July, but already some drivers are having trouble with it.

It’s not the law they are having trouble with (although not everyone is in favor of a new handheld devices ban) it’s when the new law goes into effect.

Safe drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving and do not allow distractions from handheld devices while they drive. They know that anything which calls their attention away from driving is dangerous, regardless of whether it is a handheld device, the radio dial or even a conversation with a passenger in the vehicle. And based on a study by the National Traffic Safety Administration they are correct to be concerned.

Repeated studies have shown that drivers who are distracted are more than twice as likely to suffer a serious vehicle collision as drivers whose attention is focused directly on driving. In fact, drivers using a handheld device are almost twice as likely as drivers under the influence of alcohol to have a serious crash because unlike a drunk driver who is likely being overly attentive, they simply are not watching what they are doing or where they are going.

In West Virginia, texting or using a handheld cellphone while driving becomes a secondary traffic offense on July 1, 2012. However, because distracted driving has been proven to be a very real cause of serious and fatal traffic collisions, it is never too soon to stop doing it. safe drivers know that anything they can do be safer, and stay safer, on the roads is an excellent idea and should be embraced immediately.

In West Virginia, as in more than three dozen other states, it is not only a good idea to stop using your handheld device behind the wheel, it will also soon be the law, resulting in citations for drivers who do not pay heed to the new law.