is becoming an alarming epidemic in many states across the country; texting while driving is currently illegal in 39 states. Unfortunately, this does not hinder drivers from looking at their smartphones while driving. In fact, research has shown that 25 percent of all car accidents are caused by distracted driving, while over 3000 fatalities occurred throughout the country. Virginia had reported over 200 distracted driver-related fatalities in 2018, an 18 percent increase from 2016. Meanwhile, drunk driving fatalities in Virginia decreased over five percent in that timespan.
Tips on Preventing Distracted Driving
Lawmakers in Virginia are aware of the increasing numbers of distracted drivers and are in the process of making all forms of distracted driving illegal. Drivers must abide by current laws and should be cautious while on the road to help decrease distracted driving. The following are tips on how you can help prevent distracted driving:
- Pay Attention to Other Drivers: Experts agree that distracted driving, whether it is texting, looking at social media, or simply not paying attention, can be as deadly as driving while intoxicated. A distracted driver may speed or drive too slowly and they may swerve or make sudden stops. If you notice another driver exhibiting this behavior, drive defensively and maintain a safe distance.
- Contact the Authorities: If you see a driver displaying erratic behavior, call the police. Do not out yourself at risk. If possible, describe the make and model of the vehicle and describe the driver’s dangerous behavior in detail.
- Be an Advocate: Remind your friends and loved ones not to drive while distracted and explain the dangers. Practice safe driving and keep your phone turned off while driving. If you need to operate a navigation device or application, mount your device on the dashboard or vent before you drive. That way, you are focused on the road.
Bills Against Phone Use
There are two bills in Virginia that will make any phone use while operating a vehicle a primary offense, House Bill 1811 and Senate Bill 1341. Presently, Virginia and other states only have texting while driving a primary offense. But after the increase of smartphones and distracted driving, drivers need to be cautious while on the roads until all forms of distracted driving are outlawed.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Defend Those Injured by Distracted Drivers
If you or someone you know was involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Advancements in technology has allowed more people to depend on their smartphones and has caused an increase in distracted driving. Our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at East Coast Trial Lawyers protect car accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation about your potential case. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we proudly serve the communities of Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.