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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

While many Virginia residents see many benefits to motor vehicles, they are also aware that there are many risks. Because April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is a good opportunity to understand what distracted driving is and the dangers it poses. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that greater than 40,000 victims died in car accidents during 2016 and cell phone use was the leading cause of those accidents. In Virginia, drivers who use their cell phones while driving can receive a traffic infraction totaling $125 the first time and $250 the second time.

In addition to receiving a costly traffic citation, distracted driving can also be dangerous and can cause significant harm to victims when it results in accidents. Unfortunately, distracted driving can have a broad and negative impact on victims, which is why it is important for distracted drivers to understand the dangers they may be placing others in. A driving instructor in Virginia noted that distracted driving places others, including other drivers, passengers and pedestrians, sharing the roadway in danger.

In general, there are three types of distractions, including manual, cognitive and sensory. The driving instructor from Virginia also points out that there is what is going on inside the car, what's going on outside the car and what is going on inside the driver's mind that should be considered. Distracted driving, such as cell phone use, makes it difficult for drivers to focus on the roadway which can lead to distracted driving-related car accidents and harm to victims. Distracted driving and distracted driving-related citations may be used as evidence of negligence in a distracted driving claim for damages.

Victims of distracted driving-related car accidents can suffer a variety of damages including physical, financial and emotional damages. When victims have been unexpectedly harmed by a distracted driver, it is important to understand the options available to protect victims of careless drivers recover compensation for their damages.

Source: WHSV.com, "April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month," Holly Stouffer, April 5, 2017

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