Virginia motorists are in the middle of the pack when it comes to using their mobile phones while driving. This is according to data released by Everdrive, a mobile app that tracks driver safety practices. While around 38 percent of car trips in Virginia involve a driver using their mobile phone, the number is higher in other states. Most of the states with the highest percentage of phone use while driving are in the South. The highest rate is in Mississippi, where 47 percent of car trips involve phone use.
The percentage of motorists using their phones behind the wheel is also significantly high in Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Distracted driving, which has claimed thousands of lives, is a major public safety concern. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 more were injured in car crashes that involved distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of course, distracted driving is not limited to phone usage or texting; even non-technological distractions like eating and drinking can be dangerous when behind the wheel.
One factor that seems to be effective in discouraging distracted driving is strict legislation that prohibits handheld phone use while driving. States with such laws, including Vermont, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii, had some of the lowest rates of cell phone usage behind the wheel. Mobile phone developers are also introducing technologies that can allow drivers to switch off notifications.
People who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents due to another’s distracted or negligent driving can face lifelong disabilities and costly medical expenses. A personal injury lawyer can help accident victims to seek compensation for the harms they have suffered, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.