Ninety percent (90%) of driving is visual and when you are distracted and take your eyes off the road even for a second, you have significantly reduced your ability to drive safely. What won’t wait until you are stopped? Is changing that radio station, putting on makeup, or responding to a text really worth your life or the life of another while on the road?

There are four types of driver distraction:

●● Visual – looking at something other than the road

●● Auditory – hearing something not related to driving

●● Manual – manipulating something other than the wheel

●● Cognitive – thinking about something other than driving

Most distractions involve more than one of these types, with both a sensory (eyes, ears, or touch)and a mental component. Distraction occurs when a driver voluntarily diverts attention to something not related to driving that uses the driver’s eyes, ears, or hands.

Current Virginia Law:

●● Ban on all cell phone use (handheld & hands free) for bus drivers (Primary Law)

●● Ban on all cell phone use (handheld & hands free) for novice drivers (Primary Law)

●● Ban on texting for all drivers for bus drivers (Secondary Law: Primary Law for bus   drivers). $20 fine (first offense) then $50.

Virginia politicians (Senate and House of Delegates) have had many bills before them proposing to tighten and/or add various legislation to Virginia’s distracted driving laws.

Reminds me of when drunken driving laws were lax until enough deadly crashes occurred.

A case involving a 2011 fatal accident where a texting driver who struck and killed a college student and the subsequent loss of the trial on “reckless driving" highlights the disconnect between the law and reality as to the dangers of distracted drivers.  

 “It’s a great disappointment and it’s a blow to traffic safety in the state of Virginia,” AAA Mid-Atlantic rep John Townsend said upon hearing that all distracted driving bills in Virginia were rejected in 2011.

Distracted driving is a menace on our roads as according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - NHTSA car accidents resulting from distracted driving killed 5,474 people and injured approximately 448,000 more in 2009. A distracted driver may be more prone to cause a head on or rear end collision, run red lights, disregard posted traffic signs or swerving into other lanes into other traffic or off the road completely. 

Bottom line - pay attention while you are driving.  Whatever you need to do can wait until you are stopped.  Your life and the life of others depend on it.

Kellam T. Parks
Managing Member of Parks Zeigler, PLLC
With all the safety things we have come up with in the last 60 years why not uses it. Every little bit helps. We had turn signals since 1940 yet some don't us them. Seat belts since 1950 but again some don't use them. Will they save Will they save a lot...yes.
by wgs157 February 22, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Post a Comment