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How do distracted drivers put Virginians at risk on the roads?

Many drivers get in their vehicles and begin driving without much thought about the task at hand. For many Virginians, driving is an everyday activity that is part of their routine. Unfortunately, motorists who are not focused on their duties as a driver can pose significant risks to others, including the potential for serious, injurious, and even fatal car accidents.

Distracted drivers are those drivers who have diverted their attention away from driving in order to engage in another activity. A distracted driver may be talking on his or her cell phone, texting and driving, eating, adjusting a vehicle's radio, or even simply talking to other passengers. A driver may also become distracted by a moving object within a vehicle, such as jostled object or a pet.

Whether a distracted driver is inattentive and careless, or distracted by an outside event, these motorists contribute to a tremendous amount of accidents. In 2013, approximately 424,000 people were injured in collisions stemming from the negligence of a distracted driver. Furthermore, 3,154 people died from collisions involving distracted drivers. Teen drivers represent the largest proportion of distracted drivers who contribute to accidents, with 10 percent of motorists between the ages of 15 and 19 distracted at the time of fatal car accidents.

Crashes that stem from the distraction of another driver affect all manner of people. Not only do they cause fatalities and injuries for drivers and passengers, but pedestrians and bicyclists may also become injured. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a distracted driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. By speaking with an attorney, an accident victim may be able to acquire guidance and legal counsel on how to do so.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Traffic Safety Facts: Distracted Driving 2013," accessed March 4, 2016

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