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With the growth of mobile communications technology, distracted driving has become a major problem on America’s roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at any given daylight moment in the U.S., 660,000 people are talking or texting on cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
Drive Smart Virginia (DVS) reports that distracted driving is a contributing factor in 8 out of every 10 Virginia traffic crashes, and that texting or visiting social networks while driving is the most dangerous thing a driver can do. According to DVS, this driving behavior increases the chances of an accident by 23 times.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is engaging in any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the crucial task of safely operating a motor vehicle. It could involve any type of distraction. Common distracting activities include:
- Texting or talking on cell phones
- Using smart phones or other electronic devices to go online
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with children
- Applying makeup, combing hair, or other grooming activities
- Eating, drinking, or smoking
- Using navigation systems
- Adjusting radios, MP3 players, or CD players
- Watching videos
Dangers of Distracted Driving
The NHTSA states that engaging in any visual-manual activity of the type required for use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices triples a driver’s chances of being involved in accident. The average length of time a driver’s eyes are off the road while texting is 5 seconds, according to the NHTSA. At 55 mph, that is equivalent to traveling the length of a football field blindfolded.
Texting is particularly dangerous because it requires three types of attention from the driver: cognitive, visual, and manual. Teens are in the age group most at risk from this type of distracted driving. According to the Don’t Text and Drive Blog, 13% of drivers 18 to 21 involved in traffic crashes admitted that they were talking or texting at the time their accidents occurred.
Legal Help for Victims by Expert Richmond Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
If you have ever been stuck in a lane next to a driver who was weaving in and out of the proper lane while texting and driving, you know that distracted drivers are a danger to other motorists on the road. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses.
At Marks & Harrison, we have been helping injured people since 1911. Our knowledgeable Richmond car accident attorneys know how to investigate an automobile accident and who to hire to establish the cause of the accident and the full extent of your injuries. Our firm has a successful track record recovering compensation for our clients, as you can see in our results.
We offer a free case consultation with no obligation to our prospective clients. You can call our offices or use our convenient form to contact us online. We will be happy to evaluate your accident and advise you at no charge as to whether you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to recover. Get in touch with our firm today to get started holding a negligent distracted driver accountable for your accident and injuries.
- NHTSA: Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics
- Drive Smart Virginia: Distracted Driving
- Don’t Text and Drive: Statistics