Earlier this week, on April 28th, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell proclaimed Distracted Driving Awareness Day in the commonwealth. Over 200 public- and private-sector safety organizations in the state joined to urge motorists to pledge to change their driving behavior so the Virginia’s roads can become less dangerous.
According to poll results released by AAA Mid-Atlantic, over 80 percent of motorists in the region and in Virginia specifically want stricter distracted driving penalties even though many of them, for example, admit to using hand-held cell phones when behind the wheel. Apparently 25 percent of car crashes in Virginia can be attributed to some type of driver distraction according to the Virginia DMV.
Texting while driving is illegal in Virginia and 17 other states, and laws vary in other jurisdictions with respect to other kinds of mobile cell phone activity. For example, drivers under 18 in Virginia are prohibited from using any kind of wireless device in the car. As we have reported previously, the federal government has a full-court press against all forms of distracted driving.
AAA Mid-Atlantic (which serves members in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey)offers ten tips to minimize the risks of distracted driving when you get behind the wheel:
- Change your ways and recognize the activities that distract you
- Make a plan–know your route in advance
- Manage your time to avoid multitasking or aggressive driving
- Don’t let driving become your down time or “catch up” time
- Scan the roadway–be aware of other drivers
- Concentrate on your driving
- Pull over if you need to do something that will take your eyes (or mind) off the road
- Reduce the use–use technology sensibly
- Take a driver improvement refresher class
- Always buckle up
Fortunately, most Virginia motorists drive responsibly, but if you–or someone you love–have been injured in an automobile accident caused by a distracted driver, do not hesitate to get in touch with the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, P.C., Toll Free 877-544-5323, for a no-obligation consultation.