Many drivers in Virginia know just how dangerous distracted driving can be; nevertheless, they continue to widely engage in these behaviors when they step behind the wheel. This is what is indicated by the results of a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, part of the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index that aims to measure American drivers’ attitudes and behaviors toward highway safety. The research found that the number of drivers who say they have recently conducted a conversation on a handheld mobile phone while driving has gone up 46 percent since 2013, at the same time that 88 percent of participants noted that distracted driving is a rising major safety concern.

While the participants in the survey identified distracted driving as a threat akin to drunk or aggressive roadway behavior, they also admitted to participating in these dangerous behaviors. The study included 2,613 licensed drivers across the country ages 16 and older, who were asked to assess their own and others’ driving.

Nearly half of all respondents said they had used a handheld phone while driving recently and 45 percent said they had read a text or email while behind the wheel. Another 35 percent said they had recently sent a text or email while driving. Despite these results, 78 percent said that texting and driving is a major safety concern, and 58 percent said that chatting on a mobile phone while operating a car is also a serious risk.

Distracted driving is one of the biggest threats to driver safety on today’s roadways, and the resulting motor vehicle accidents can lead to lifelong, serious injuries and disabilities. People who are suffering injuries as a result of a car crash caused by another’s distracted or dangerous driving may benefit from working with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney may be able to help them to pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages.