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What Makes Distracted Driving so Dangerous in Virginia?

Virginia has enacted a ban on texting while driving for all motorists, and any cell phone use by drivers 18 years old and under is prohibited. Regardless of hefty fines and other consequences, many drivers still engage in this risky behavior that threatens the safety of everyone on the road. Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal some alarming details:

  • Reviewing or drafting a text requires a motorist to focus on a smartphone for an average of five seconds. For a driver traveling on a Virginia highway at 55 miles per hour, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.
  • In 2015, there were 3,477 fatalities in car accidents where distracted driving was listed as a contributing factor;
  • That same year, around 391,000 people were injured in auto crashes caused by distracted drivers; and,
  • On an average day, during daylight hours, an estimated 660,000 drivers in the US are using smartphones while driving. This phenomenon exponentially increases the likelihood of deadly accidents.

If you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision due to a motorist’s distracted driving, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Hampton car accident lawyer. You may also find it useful to review some information on what makes distracted driving such a problem for Virginia drivers.

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is extremely risky because it impacts three specific areas of vehicle operation:

  • Visual, because the operator’s eyes are focused on something other than the road, the vehicle’s systems, and conditions outside the car;
  • Manual, since the same motor skills required to send a text are also crucial for safe operation of a vehicle; and,
  • Cognitive, when the driver is thinking about a topic not related to operating the car.

While texting and driving get a lot of media attention, any interaction with a cell phone while driving can lead to serious auto collisions. Examples include:

  • Sending or reviewing an email message;
  • Talking on the phone;
  • Surfing the internet;
  • Checking social media;
  • Capturing video or images with a phone; and,
  • Any smartphone activity that requires a motorist to manipulate the device.

Other Forms of Distracted Driving

It is important to note that there are many other forms of distracted driving that do not involve a cell phone but are equally deadly. They include:

  • Adjusting the radio;
  • Operating a GPS device;
  • Eating or drinking;
  • Applying makeup or grooming;
  • Conversing with passengers; and,
  • Similar tasks.

Ultimately, distracted driving encompasses many activities that interfere with a driver’s attention upon the primary task at hand, which should be to safely operate the vehicle.

Trust a Dedicated Hampton Auto Accident Lawyer to Fight for Your Rights

If you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision due to someone else’s negligence, including distracted driving, Mr. Hoen can assist you in filing your claim for compensation. Please contact Hampton Injury Law by calling 757.838.1136 to set up a free consultation. You can also visit our website for more information about your rights as a victim.

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