The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Virginia

Did you know that cell phones contribute to 14% of all fatal car crashes? Distracted driving is dangerous; however, it’s preventable. Understanding distracted driving and its consequences can help stop car accidents.

That’s why we’ve investigated everything you need to know about distracted driving, including what it is and the laws surrounding it. That way, you can abide by the law and be safe.

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s a quick look at the dangers of distracted driving:

What Is Considered Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is often put into three categories; below, we have labeled each category and the associated actions.

1. Visual:

  • Reading billboards
  • Looking at yourself in the mirror
  • Looking at people/objects on the side of the road

2. Physical:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Texting
  • Attending to other passengers/pets
  • Reaching for fallen objects

3. Mental:

  • Daydreaming
  • Talking to other passengers
  • Using Voice-activated features

If you do any of these, you are considered to be distracted while driving. However, laws against distracted driving do not prohibit most of these actions. So if you do read billboards or eat and drive, you won’t get pulled over, although you do take the risk of being in an accident due to the distraction.

How Risky Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents. It’s been estimated that distracted driving claims as many as nine lives a day. In 2021 alone, over 3,000 people died, and more than 410,000 people were injured due to distracted driving.

Teens and young adult drivers aged 16 to 20 are more at risk for distracted driving than any other age group. In a recent study, 39% of high school students admitted to texting or emailing while driving one or more times in the last month.

Distracted Driving Laws

In Virginia, being on the phone while driving is a first offense meaning an officer can pull you over for it. If you’re caught texting and driving, you can be charged with illegal use of a mobile phone. If you’re driving 20 miles over the speed limit, you can also be charged with reckless driving.

Now, reckless driving is a class one misdemeanor. As such, it can result in a jail sentence, a fine, and a suspension of your driver’s license.

On the other hand, the illegal use of a mobile phone is a traffic infraction which makes the consequences less severe. For a first offense, you’ll only have to pay up to $100, but for a second offense and any other offense after that, you’ll have a $250 fine.

Dangers of Distracted Driving: Learn More Today

Don’t be a distracted driver. It kills thousands and injures hundreds of thousands each year. Most of the dangers of distracted driving can be attributed to our mobile phones; however, it doesn’t end there. Distractions come in many forms, including but not limited to eating, drinking, and looking at yourself in the mirror.

Distracted driving is not only harmful but can have major consequences. If you’re charged with illegal usage of a mobile phone, you’ll have to pay as much as $100 in fines. Although, if you’re charged with reckless driving, you could be sentenced to jail and be ordered to pay massive fines.

For more information about distracted driving, contact us today for a free consultation.

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