You see it every day, the car that drifts into another lane or driving under the speed limit in the passing lane. And you’re probably thinking, “That idiot needs to get off their phone!”
But honestly, didn’t you sneak a look at a text or an email the other day while driving?
We know distracted driving causes crashes. And it’s not only being on your phone that distracts you. It also could be reading, eating, talking to passengers or adjusting your car controls.
More than 431,000 people were injured in vehicle crashes involving distracted driving and 3,179 people were killed, according to the most recent figures by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Consider the story of Alison Holden from Washington, D.C. A few years ago, she was driving to work when she was rear-ended at a stoplight by a driver who was sending a text message. She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. In the months after the accident, she suffered from short-term memory loss and struggled to care for her son while recovering from her injuries. She required extensive physical therapy, and she still feels effects from the crash today.
“We’re committed to enforcing the law against dangerous efforts by some who think they can text and drive,” says Major Ed O’Carroll of our police department. “You’ve seen them, so have we.”
- Texting while driving is illegal in Virginia and most other states. In Virginia it is a primary offense, which means you may be stopped if suspected of texting while driving.
- At any given daylight moment across the country, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
- Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) April 24, 2016
- Take the Drive Smart Virginia Pledge and commit to focus on driving only.
- Be aware of restrictions for drivers under age 18 years of age. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes. Virginia’s teen driving restrictions are aimed at helping drivers stay safe and to reduce the number of car crashes.
- Get the message and share the message. Watch these Faces of Distracted Driving videos:
Share what you see on the roads regarding distracted driving on our Facebook Page: