Research May Help Stop Distracted Driving in Virginia

Recently, the Governors Highway Safety Administration made additional efforts to find out just how and why distracted driving accidents occur. By gathering data from over 350 scientific research papers, the GHSA was able to answer important questions such as:

·        What is distracted driving?

·        How often are driver distracted?

·        How does distraction impact a driver's performance and crash risk?

·        What countermeasures are effective in preventing driver distraction?

·        What can states do to reduce distracted driving?

Applied Research Data Can Help Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents in Va. and Nationwide

The GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsh wants states to take measures to reduce distracted driving, but she wants them to think before they act.

"While distracted driving is an emotional issue that raises the ire of many on the road, states must take a research-based approach to addressing the problem. Until more research is conducted, states need to proceed thoughtfully, methodically and objectively."

To help inform the decisions of states like Virginia and North Carolina, the GHSA has compiled the following list of facts that research has shown to be true:

·        Distractions affect driving performance

·        Drivers frequently are distracted, perhaps as much as half the time

·        Drivers adapt to some extent: they pay more attention to driving and reduce their distracting activities in more risky driving situations

·        Distractions are estimated to be associated with 15 to 25 percent of crashes of all levels from minor property damage to fatal injury

·        Texting likely increases crash risk more than cell phone use

·        Cell phone use increases crash risk

Knowing how and why distracted driving contributes to serious car accidents in Virginia is the key to preventing them. The staff and attorneys at Tavss Fletcher hope that the information in this article, and others like it, can help prevent accidents here in Norfolk and across Virginia.