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The many faces of distracted driving in Virginia

When you hear about distracted driving in Virginia, do you think about people chatting on their cell phones?  Cell phone use behind the wheel is a very dangerous kind of distracted driving, but there are plenty more forms.

 

Distracted driving happens any time a driver’s primary focus is not on the road ahead.  Drivers engage in many types of distractions these days, all of which can be generalized into 3 main categories:

  1. Manual distractions: anything that takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, like fiddling with the radio, digging through a purse, eating or drinking, etc.
  2. Visual distractions: anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, such as reading a book or magazine, watching the GPS, reading text messages, etc.
  3. Cognitive distractions: anything that takes a driver’s mind off driving, like talking on a cell-phone (even while using a hands-free device), talking to kids in the backseat, thinking about a problem at work, etc.

 

There are so many different types of driver distractions that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that only a small number of injury accidents caused by distracted driving – five percent – are due to cell phone use.  All the rest of the distracted driving crashes, the other 95 percent, are caused by other types of driver distractions.

 

What are some distractions that are causing accidents in Virginia and across the United States?

  • Painting nails
  • Eating
  • Brushing hair
  • Putting on makeup
  • Shaving
  • Reading a textbook
  • Reading a map
  • Writing
  • Reading or sending text messages
  • Using an MP3 player or other music device
  • Looking in a bag for a lost item
  • Trying to discipline kids in the backseat
  • Petting pets loose in the car
  • Talking to passengers

 

Pretty much any activity that takes a driver’s attention off the road – no matter how innocent it seems – can result in a serious or fatal wreck.  Drivers who allow themselves to become distracted behind the wheel are a danger to other motorists.

 

To speak with an attorney after being hurt by a distracted driver in Culpeper, Warrenton or elsewhere in Virginia, please contact us today.  We will fight to get you the compensation that you need to recover after a tragic car accident.

 

DULANEY, LAUER & THOMAS, LLP

 

Warrenton Office

98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11

Warrenton, VA 20186

Toll Free: 888.907.2631

Local: 540.349.2631

 

Richard A. Dulaney
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Richard has over 30 years of experience in personal injury law.