Smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives, but do we rely on them too much? Watch people sitting in restaurants, or as they are walking down the street, or in countless other situations and you will likely see them head bent down with phone in hand.
If you think that may be an overstatement, consider the results of a recent study which found that Americans are checking their smartphones 80 times per day. That comes out to every 12 minutes. One in 10 smartphone users checks their phones every four minutes. Thirty-one percent of those who participated in the study said they had separation anxiety when they could not get to their phones.
- Distracted Driving: Enforcing the Texting While Driving Law in Virginia
- Distracted Driving: A Momentary Lapse in Attention Can Cause a Lifetime of Pain
And tragically – despite the many warnings issued to the public – many people do not stop checking their phones even when they are behind the wheel of a car. Another study conducted by a driving analytics company found in their analysis of three million drivers that cell phones were used on 88 percent of those trips. Drivers spend approximately 3.5 minutes on their phone for every one hour they were behind the wheel.
Under Virginia law, texting while driving is a primary offense for drivers of all ages. A violation carries a fine of $125.00 for a first offense and a fine of $250.00 for subsequent offenses. Yet, people still text and drive.
There are steps that every driver can take to ensure they stay completely focused on the road when they are driving. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Turn your cell phone off while you are driving.
- Although Bluetooth and infotainment systems are legal, it is best to not use them or limit their use. These systems can still be distracting and contribute to crashing.
- Remove some of the apps off of your phone that you really don’t use. This will give you less to feel you have to pick up your phone to check.
- If you play games on your phone, consider installing them on another device you leave at home and remove the games off of your phone.
- Don’t check your phone – or even glance at it – while you are stopped at intersections or traffic lights.
- If you need to check your phone, pull your vehicle over to a safe area and park first.
- If you need to use your GPS, enter all of the information and map out your destination before you put your vehicle in drive.
- Do not check your social media accounts until you arrive home. If you do have to check your social media accounts, emails, etc., a few times a day, choose at a time when you will not be in your vehicle.
Let a Virginia Injury Attorney Help
Unfortunately, no matter how many safety behaviors you practice, there is always the risk that another driver isn’t. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was texting and driving or some other distracted driving behavior, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.
The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.
After graduating cum laude from law school at the University of Richmond, Seth practiced personal injury law out of Roanoke, Virginia and in Hampton, Virginia before joining Shapiro & Appleton where he represents personal injury clients in both state and federal courts. In 2016, he was named as a Virginia “Rising Star” lawyer by Super Lawyer’s magazine, an honor bestowed upon only 2.5% of attorneys in the state.