Despite the widespread news about the dangers of distracted driving, it continues to be a huge problem in Norfolk and throughout Virginia. Drivers who engage in these unsafe practices put you and your family in danger of suffering catastrophic injuries or death. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,450 victims were killed in 2016 and 391,000 were injured in 2015 in distracted driving accidents.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from his driving. It can significantly reduce his ability to see potential dangers on the road and respond to them quickly. It can also cause the driver to engage in an unsafe practice, such as speeding, crossing the center lane of a road, or driving too close to the driver in front of him, without realizing it until it is too late to avoid causing a car accident. There are three basic types of distractions:
- Manual distractions take a driver’s hands off the steering wheel.
- Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road.
- Cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind off the road.
Using a Cell Phone: One of the Most Dangerous Forms of Distraction
Using a cell phone to text or talk is especially unsafe when driving because it involves all three types of distractions. Despite the known risks, many individuals continue to talk, text, and drive. According to NHTSA, approximately 481,000 drivers use their cell phones while driving during daytime hours.
Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. Reading or responding to a text takes a person’s eyes and mind off the road and his hands off the steering wheel for at least five seconds. If he is traveling at 55 mph, he will travel the distance of a football field during these few seconds, which is plenty of time to cause a catastrophic wreck.
Other Types of Distracted Driving That Causes Car Accidents
Talking on a cell phone and texting are not the only ways that individuals become distracted. Other unsafe practices that negligent drivers routinely engage in include:
- Eating and drinking
- Putting on makeup and performing other personal grooming tasks
- Looking at a GPS
- Adjusting vehicle instrument controls
- Searching the internet or watching a video or other content on an electronic device
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with children or pets
Your Right to Compensation in a Distracted Driving Accident
Under Virginia law, you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering if a distracted driver caused your auto collision. However, you will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorneys to prove his negligence and your right to compensation. To learn how our skilled and dedicated lawyers can assist you, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.