Were you in a car crash with someone who was talking on the phone at the time? Or perhaps the driver who caused the collision was reading a text message? Unfortunately, these scenarios and many like them are not uncommon. Distracted driving is a serious issue in Virginia and across the nation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving leads to fatal car accidents. In 2018 alone, 2,841 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents. This breaks down to 1,730 motorists, 605 passengers, 77 bicyclists and 400 pedestrians. In fact, the NHTSA reports that texting and driving at 55 mph is the equivalent of traveling the entire length of a football field while blindfolded. It is easy to see why distracted driving is so dangerous.
Preventing distracted driving
The following are some tips on how to avoid distracted driving. Of course, texting or talking on a cellphone while behind the wheel should be avoided. However, other distractions such as eating, tuning the radio or the music on your phone, manipulating a GPS system, grooming and rubber necking should all be avoided while driving.
Instead, select your music and program your GPS before you leave. You can designate someone to be a “co-pilot” and handle these tasks so you can focus on driving. Get yourself groomed at home before driving. Teach your children to quiet and still in the car so bad behavior does not distract you. Keep pets in a carrier. And if you are picking up a passenger, do so where it is safe not at an intersection.
What to do if you are in an accident caused by a distracted driver
Sadly, not all motorists will heed these tips and distracted driving accidents will continue to occur in Virginia. Depending on the circumstances, if you were involved in a distracted driving accident you may be able to pursue compensation. A personal injury attorney can assess your case and provide further information.