Driver distraction is a frequent factor in Virginia car crashes. Often, wrecks involving driver distraction lead to serious injuries or fatalities. This is concerning given that Virginia’s motorists are among the most distracted in the United States.
According to Alexandria Living, Virginia currently ranks fifth in the nation as far as the number of fatalities it sees that are the result of distracted driving. Maryland, which shares a border with Virginia, ranked 22nd nationwide. This raises questions about why so many Virginia drivers are taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel and why the problem is so severe in Virginia, specifically.
Distracted driving statistics
Distracted driving is a major problem from coast to coast. In 2019, about 424,000 people across the United States suffered injuries in crashes involving distracted drivers. Another 3,100 died in 2,895 fatal wrecks involving distracted driving. States with more distracted drivers than Virginia include New Mexico, New Jersey, Hawaii and Washington.
Distracted driving behaviors
In-vehicle cellphone use is the leading cause, of driver distraction. Texting behind the wheel is especially common and problematic because it merges all three types of driver distraction: cognitive, manual and visual distraction. Cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind away from the task at hand, while visual distractions divert a driver’s eyes. Manual distractions are those that take a motorist’s hands away from the steering wheel and vehicle controls. Distracted driving also takes on many other forms. Communicating with or disciplining children in the back seat may distract a driver. Eating, putting on makeup, or using in-vehicle navigation systems or electronics may, too.
Drivers who exercise negligence by driving distracted may face accountability if their actions lead to injuries or fatalities.