Study: Distracted driving a problem for Virginia motorists along I-95

According to a recent AAA study reported on by NBC4 News, an alarming 56 percent of surveyed Virginia drivers on Interstate 95 confess to using their cellphone while behind the wheel - with 20 percent of drivers admitting to texting while driving, despite Virginia laws against this particular practice.

Specifically, the study was compiled following a survey of over 900 Virginia drivers who commonly travel along I-95. The study discovered that while one-fifth of all drivers claim that driver distractions nearly caused them to get into a car accident, a whopping 42 percent of the motorists who admitted to texting while driving - both reading and writing - had an actual accident or a near miss.

Probably the most concerning statistic recently reported on by NBC4 News, is that roughly 80 percent of Virginia car accidents can be attributed to distracted driving. Sadly, as these numbers indicate, much still needs to be done to eradicate distracted driving on Virginia roadways.

Virginia's texting-while-driving prohibitions

The problems associated with driver distractions and texting while driving are nothing new. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cites several studies that illustrate the dangers of texting while driving. For instance, when a driver sends or receives a text messages, his or her eyes leave the road for 4.6 seconds on average. This means that the driver can travel the length of a football field, if going 55 mph, without even seeing where he or she is going.

Thankfully, under current Virginia law, drivers are prohibited from using their cellphones to read or manually write text messages while behind the wheel. In addition, earlier this year Virginia lawmakers passed amendments to this law that will not only increase texting-while-driving fines, but also make violations of this law a primary offense when the amendments become effective on July 1.

Unfortunately, as the recent AAA study clearly demonstrates, Virginia motorists continue to text while behind the wheel even though laws prohibit it. It seems that some drivers believe that their text messaging is more important than their safety or the safety of others on the road.

If you have been injured by one of these Virginia drivers who are simply too busy texting to keep their attention on the road, you may be entitled to damages. Accordingly, it is important to speak with an experienced distracted driving accident attorney in order to learn what your rights and options may be given your particular circumstances.