Did you notice that last Wednesday was Virginia’s Distracted Driving Awareness Day? Those guilty of distracted driving behaviors – including chatting on cell-phones, texting while driving, eating behind the wheel, and more – may not even know that April 29th was a day directed at them.
Since at least one study has shown that distracted driving contributes to up to 80 percent of all car accidents, lawmakers are eager to find ways to encourage drivers to keep their eyes – and minds – on the road.
Many drivers are guilty of driving while distracted at some point behind the wheel, since there are so many opportunities for distraction. Cell phones, music players, dropped objects, chatty passengers, and even interesting distractions outside the car window all compete for a driver’s attention.
While bans against cell-phone use while driving haven’t been successful in Virginia – although lawmakers have been trying to pass such a law since 2001 – it is against the law for teenagers to use a cell-phone while behind the wheel. And for other drivers, sending or reading text messages while driving will become illegal as of July 1.
Many people fret about the dangers of aggressive drivers on Virginia roads – a legitimate concern – but how many of us are prepared to change our own distracted driving habits to keep the roads free from car crashes?