Distracted driving continues to be a serious safety issue across Virginia and the rest of the nation. However, Virginia drivers and motorists are among those most affected by this behavior. Research shows that Virginia is among the worst states for distracted drivers in the nation. This raises questions about why the problem is so severe in the state and what state legislators and safety advocates might do to make roads safer.
Per Alexandria Living, Virginia now ranks fifth in the nation in terms of the number of people killed by distracted drivers. These days, more than 21% of all traffic fatalities that take place across the state result from motorists driving while distracted.
Cellphone use and driver distraction
Across Virginia and the rest of the United States, in-vehicle cellphone use is the leading cause of driver distraction. Texting behind the wheel, in particular, is dangerous distracted driving behavior. Those most likely to have their cellphones distract them are motorists between the ages of 25 and 44. This refutes a common belief that younger and teenage motorists are the worst distracted driving offenders.
Other factors and driver distraction
While cellphone use is a top cause of distracted driving-related crashes, other variables also contribute to driver distraction. Sometimes, crashes involving distracted driving are the result of a driver trying to eat, drink or apply makeup behind the wheel. Other times, other passengers, such as teenagers or children in the backseat, play a role in distracted driving-related wrecks.
While Virginia ranks high in terms of the number of motorists driving while distracted, the problem persists at the national level, too. Each year, distracted driving-related wrecks cause hundreds of thousands of injuries and thousands of fatalities.