Bad practices by drivers cause many motor vehicle accidents in Virginia. These crashes result in millions of dollars in property damage and serious personal injuries to passengers and drivers.
Distracted driving stands out as a dangerous practice that causes hundreds of car crashes each year.
Forms of distracted driving
According to information from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, distracted driving increases the risk of a car crash. Visual, manual and cognitive distractions can impact the driver’s ability to focus on the roadway.
- A visual distraction causes the driver to take his or her eyes from the road
- A manual distraction results in occupying the hands while driving
- A cognitive distraction reduces the driver’s attention to driving
Any of these actions can result in a motor vehicle crash. These collisions might result in serious damage because the driver might not even hit the brakes before the collision. When driving becomes a secondary task, the potential for an accident increases.
Laws that address distracted driving
The state of Virginia enacted measures to prohibit hand-held cell phone usage. The law went into effect on January 1, 2021, and made it illegal to hold cell phones or other wireless devices while driving. Exceptions exist for emergency situations and when a car is legally stopped or parked.
Texting while driving causes many crashes and falls under the category of a primary offense. Fines start at $125 for a first offense and go up to $250 for a second offense.
Distracted driving comes in many forms. It can result in vehicular crashes as well as legal penalties.