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Distracted Driving
Distracted Driving

I focus on achieving favorable results with dedication & hard-work.- Griffin O'Hanlon

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Virginia Attorneys Fight for Compensation in Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers

Car accident attorneys serving Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, VA

Drivers face a number of threats on the road: Poor weather conditions, mechanical problems with vehicles, and any number of roadway hazards contribute to accidents. However, other drivers pose the greatest dangers on Virginia's highways. The majority of accidents are a result of driver error, and distracted driving is increasingly to blame for those collisions.

The Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers legal team protects your rights following a car accident with injuries. If you have been harmed in a car accident and want to know more about your legal options, we can help.

Driven to distraction: Why drivers fail to pay attention

One of the most significant sources of distraction for drivers is the use of cellphones and similar devices. Nevertheless, there are many other distractions that threaten your well-being behind the wheel, including:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Grooming or using a vanity mirror
  • Watching a video
  • Pets in a vehicle
  • Adjusting a CD player or audio device
  • Interacting with other passengers
  • Using maps or a navigation system while driving
  • Rubbernecking at accidents or other events by the road

Not all distractions happen inside the vehicle. Road signs, traffic stops and other vehicles can all lead to distracted driving.

Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents

The rise of cellphones, smartphones and other mobile devices has ushered in a new era of technological capability. However, that increased capability carries the risk that drivers and other people will use these devices inappropriately. A campaign by the federal government to curb the use of mobile devices while driving tallied the mayhem and mishaps caused by distracted drivers. It found that:

  • As recently as 2011, more than 3,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • An additional 387,000 people were injured in similar accidents that year.
  • Ten percent of injury crashes in 2011 involved distracted driving.

The sheer number of accidents involving distracted drivers is staggering. If you were injured in a car accident and believe distracted driving may have been a cause, our attorneys can assist you with your legal options.

Distracted driving is becoming more prevalent, according to the official U.S. Government website Distraction.gov. In 2014, 3,179 people lost their lives, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Texting and cellphone use increase the odds of an accident

Sending or responding to a text message is a natural reaction for most people who rely on mobile devices. If you text or talk on the phone while driving, you may only take your eyes off the road for a split second. But in that brief time period, the chances of causing an accident go up significantly. Studies have found that:

  • Activities such as reaching for a phone, dialing or texting triple the chances of causing an accident.
  • Sending or reading one text message distracts you for the amount of time it takes to drive the length of one football field.
  • The reaction time for drunk drivers and those texting on cellphones is substantially similar, making texting just as dangerous as drunk driving. Studies have found the likelihood a driver looking at a phone or texting will be involved in a car accident is comparable with that of a driver with a .08% blood alcohol level.

Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents, especially among younger drivers. Distraction.gov states that about 10 percent of all drivers between the ages of 15 to 19 who are involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the wrecks. This age group has the highest proportion of driv¬ers who were distracted at the time of the crashes. If you were recently injured in a car accident on Virginia roads, texting and cellphone use may be to blame.

Texting and Driving is Illegal in Virginia

If you are caught texting while driving in Virginia, it is considered a primary offense, states the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. This means a police officer can apprehend and stop you if he or she suspects you have been texting while driving. The fine is $125 for the first offense, and $250 for subsequent offenses.

A ban on using all cell phones or any other personal communication devices while driving, is in place in Virginia for drivers who are 18 or younger.

Federal regulations make it illegal for truck drivers to use hands free phones anywhere in the United States.

Contact us if you believe you were struck by a distracted driver

Accidents caused by distracted drivers injure and kill thousands of people every year including pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers and passengers. The problem gets more serious every year as technology advances. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers works with our clients to determine the cause of every accident. If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, we fight hard to ensure you get the compensation you need. Contact us at 757.455.0077 or online to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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    • 2018 Scholarship Award

      Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.

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