Distracted Driving Is A Significant Cause of Virginia Car Wrecks
You have to be paying a lot of attention to safely drive a car. You never know when the cars on the highway in front of you are going to stop suddenly and unexpectedly. As I was driving down the road just past Williamsburg on Interstate 64 West (I-64) recently, I was in a 70-mile-an-hour zone and the cars suddenly stopped for no apparent reason.
At that time, I had no idea about whether the cars were stopping for an accident or for highway construction or for another reason. I-64 is a stop and start kind of highway between Newport News and Williamsburg, particularly the stretch where the road widening is taking place. If I had not been paying close attention, I wouldn't have been able to stop the car in time to prevent hitting the vehicle in front of me and causing a wreck.
If I had been checking my cell phone, it would likely have been the difference between a near miss and a crash.
Distracted driving is the curse of the highway in the 21st Century. While offenses accidents caused by drunk drivers have steadily declined, more drivers are becoming distracted. The driving of a distracted motorist can be very similar to that of a drunk one.
To not drive recklessly and to keep your car under proper control, you need to be giving the highway ahead of you and your driving your full attention. Ideally, you should be thinking one step ahead and practice defensive driving techniques. Like drunk driving, distracted driving takes away part of your brain and reflexes and impairs you from making good decisions. That second or two can make a lot of difference as a car going 60 miles an hour is traveling at about 100 feet a second.
Every second counts when you're behind the wheel because if you don't start braking in time, you won't be able to brake before crashing into something particularly if you are following too close, to begin with. Rear-end accidents from not paying attention are the most common type of Virginia wreck that I deal with on a daily basis in my personal injury practice. Keeping proper attention on the road and avoiding collisions is hard enough when you are sober and not tired.
However, when you add to that all of the gizmos and gadgets in our cars these days it's particularly hard to avoid distractions. Just looking down to answer your phone or change the radio station can be enough to cause a wreck. Add in something even more distracting like watching a movie or trying to eat a cheeseburger in the car and the distraction becomes a real danger.
Take your driving seriously and put down the phone. Let somebody else pick the music if you have a passenger or get it straight before you start driving. Don't let distracted driving turn into a disaster for you and someone else's family member. If you kill someone or seriously injure someone from distracted driving, you will be very sorry you did.
See our resources on dangerous and distracted driving and contact us today if you have been harmed by a distracted driver.