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A look at the problem of distracted driving in Virginia

In Virginia, 8 out of 10 traffic accidents are related to distracted driving. When a driver removes their eyes from the roadway, a serious accident can result with serious injuries to passengers, occupants of other vehicles and others using the roadway. It is important to keep in mind that when a driver is on the phone having a conversation while driving, their brain activity focused on driving is reduced by nearly 40 percent. Using a cell phone has been identified as a serious cause of distraction while driving.

Additionally, texting while driving or accessing social medial while driving are the most dangerous distracted driving activities a driver can engage in. These distracted driving activities increase the driver's chances of a car accident by 23 times. Distracted driving activities include any activities that remove the driver's eyes, hands or focus from the roadway. Texting while driving is considered particularly dangerous because it combines all types of distracted driving and removes the driver's eyes, hands and focus from the roadway.

The dangers of a distracted driving accident to victims can include injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and a host of other damages for families when a victim is killed in a distracted driving-related accident. It is important to refrain from distracted driving to help ensure the safety of others sharing the roadways. When a distracted driver has engaged in distracted driving activities, and negligently harmed victims, they may be liable to victims for the physical, financial and emotional damages they have suffered.

Drivers should avoid distracted driving behaviors and help keep everyone safe on the roadway. When drivers fail to exercise due care for the safety of others on the roadways, the legal process provides protections for victims of the accidents that result.

Source: Drive Safe Virginia, "Distracted Driving," Accessed April 23, 2016

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