Virginia distracted driving auto accident attorneys
Putting a stop to dangerous distracted drivers in Virginia
With the popularity of mobile phones and similar devices, distracted driving is a greater danger than ever before on our Virginia roads. Distracted drivers are a menace, and cause serious accidents, catastrophic injuries, and thousands of dollars of property damage. When drivers are negligent, they should be held accountable. However, holding someone liable in a personal injury claim is not easy: it requires in-depth legal knowledge.
We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys want to help. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, call us. GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys will work tirelessly to see that your rights are protected, and that you get proper compensation for your damages. Call us at (804) 413-6777 for a free consultation and a helping hand.
Is distracted driving really that big of a problem?
Yes. Driving distracted is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. While we’ve all been warned about the dangers of drinking and driving, many people do not realize how dangerous it is to drive while distracted. If a driver takes his eyes off of the road, even for a split second, he could miss a sudden turn, the vehicle in front of him slowing down, oncoming traffic, or a pedestrian crossing the street, leading to an accident and catastrophic injuries.
Consider looking at a text message while driving (not even taking into account typing a response). The average time a person looks away from the road to read an incoming text message is five seconds. In that time, while driving at only 45 mph, a person will travel about 100 yards. That means that in the time you look away to read a text message, you will drive the length of a football field while not looking at the road!
In that distance, a driver could easily steer into the other lane, off the road, or even into a nearby tree. However the accident happens, one thing is for sure: that distracted driver can cause a great deal of damage, even a fatality.
Even worse, distracted driving often leads to hit-and-run accidents. The negligent driver may be unaware of her surroundings, hit someone, and then, still distracted, leave the scene without offering help. But even if the distracted driver does realize her mistake, and stops to exchange information and offer assistance, she is still responsible for the damage she has caused.
What are the different kinds of distraction?
Drivers face three different kinds of distraction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drivers should try to avoid all three because each is dangerous:
Visual distractions involve the driver taking his eyes off of the road. That could include checking his phone, looking over at the passenger beside him, or looking at something out the side window, such as a car accident or a neon sign.
Manual distractions happen when a driver takes one or both hands off the wheel to do something else. The driver may be adjusting the radio or temperature controls, sending a text, or reaching for something in the seat next to her. Whatever the scenario, she can easily lose control of the car because she is not holding securely onto the wheel.
Cognitive distraction means the driver is not paying mental attention to the road. While he may be looking at the road, he is not concentrating on it. The driver may be daydreaming, zoning out, or driving while fatigued. This type of distraction is particularly dangerous because it can give the appearance of focus, so that even the passengers are not aware their driver is distracted.
What are the most common ways drivers become distracted?
Drives can become distracted in countless ways in each of the three main categories. While mobile phones may be the biggest danger, other things can take attention away from the road, too. The most common distractions include:
- Mobile phones and similar devices: Devices like phones and tablets present serious distractions inside a vehicle. Incoming text messages, phone calls, or just looking up information or directions on a screen all take our attention away from where it should be.
- Music: Sound itself can make it harder to hear your surroundings, especially an emergency vehicle. Changing songs or adjusting the volume also creates a distraction.
- Controls and settings in a car: Adjusting settings, like heating and cooling, can distract a driver. Even moving seat position or side mirrors can reduce your concentration.
- Passengers in a car: Other people inside a car offer numerous distractions -- everything from having an in-depth conversation with the driver, to asking the driver to look at something.
- Outside distractions: A driver looking at an accident or reading signs is not focusing on what’s happening immediately around and in front of his vehicle. Even beautiful landscapes can become dangerous if the driver’s attention is diverted by them.
- Daydreaming: The most common distraction for drivers, frighteningly enough, is daydreaming, or mind-wandering. Confident drivers often forget how dangerous driving is, and they can take it for granted. Daydreaming while driving slows reaction time and can result in deadly accidents.
Is distracted driving a form of negligence?
Yes, it is. Most reasonable people would say that driving requires your full attention and focus on what is happening immediately around the vehicle. Given the weight and size of an average vehicle, combined with the average speeds of most drivers (or higher speeds for aggressive ones), driving distracted can become a death sentence, both for the driver and the person he collides with.
If a driver becomes distracted, his attention is no longer on what he should be focused on. Multitasking is really not possible -- a person's brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When "multitasking," we are actually rapidly switching our focus among two or more things. That means that if a driver is distracted, perhaps by eating, changing the radio, or chatting with passengers, he is not paying full attention to the road. Any distraction while driving takes attention away from the road and can be considered negligence, making that driver at fault for the accident and the injuries caused.
Hit by a distracted driver in Virginia? Call us today.
If you have been injured in an accident in Virginia, we want to do whatever we can to help you and your family. Distracted drivers harm thousands of people every year, and many victims never fully recover. We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys consider it a calling to advocate for those who have been hurt through no fault of their own. For help and legal guidance, call our Virginia car accident attorneys at (804) 413-6777 or or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 for a free consultation.
- What are the penalties for Virginians using a handheld device while driving?
- New Virginia cell phone law goes into effect in 2021: What does it mean for you?
- "Texts=Wrecks" includes visual distractions
- "Texts=Wrecks" includes manual distractions
- "Texts=Wrecks" includes cognitive distractions
- Distracted Driving - MedlinePlus
- Distracted Driving - IIHS
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.