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Distracted driving continues to be a problem in the U.S., accounting for hundreds of severe accidents every day. How can we – a society that seems addicted to our smartphones — curb this risky behavior behind the wheel? By participating in Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and encouraging friends and family to do the same!

Now is the time to put your cell phone down, pay attention, and drive responsibly. A quick text message or social media swipe can have deadly consequences. Every day in our country, 9 lives are lost, and 100 people are hurt in crashes caused by distracted drivers.

While Bluetooth-enabled devices can keep your hands on the wheel, your attention is still diverted from the most pressing task at hand – arriving at your destination safely.  It may take some mindfulness and willpower, but you can break the cycle and drive with focus and attention.

Organizations like the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration run awareness campaigns on how to prevent distracted driving.  Take a look at some of these tips that might help you set a good example and be part of the solution.

Reminders for distraction-free driving

  • Before getting behind the wheel, disable all notifications from Facebook and social media platforms
  • Turn your phone on mute for the duration of your travels
  • If you do receive an urgent message that needs your attention, please pull off the road and park your car in a safe location before reading or responding
  • If you are with passengers, consider designating someone else to answer your phone or reply to messages
  • Before departing, ensure children already have what’s needed to minimize distractions
  • Avoid multitasking when driving (eating, brushing your hair, or adjusting music)
  • Wait until your car is stopped before: looking for items, changing music, or using your GPS
  • Make sure any pets in the vehicle are secured
  • Let your friends, co-workers, and family know that you do not answer calls or texts while driving

Virginia laws are getting stricter

Forty-three states have already passed laws prohibiting texting and driving. In Virginia, it is illegal to text or email while driving, but handheld phone use is not banned, except for highway work zones.

If House Bill 874 passes into law, holding your smartphone while behind the wheel in Virginia may become a thing of the past. The legislation will ban the use of all handheld mobile devices while driving.

What to do if you have been injured by a distracted driver

If you are in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention immediately. Injuries are not always evident in the immediate aftermath of a crash. Even less significant fender-benders can cause serious harm to the body. Don’t wait and see how you feel later. Go to the hospital or urgent care and see a doctor as soon as possible. Avoid speaking to the insurance company before you have contacted an experienced distracted driving injury attorney. You need a law firm with the size, strength, and experience to fight the insurance company and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Rutter Mills is that firm. Call or text us 24/7 at 757-622-5000.

We represent distracted driving accident victims in Virginia

According to VA accident data, 827 people died in auto accidents last year, and distraction was a factor in 120 of those deaths.

Rutter Mills leverages over 50 years of experience helping victims of serious car accidents in Virginia. If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a distracted driver, contact our firm for a free case review with an experienced car accident lawyer today. Our attorneys will fight to obtain the compensation you need and deserve from negligent parties.