A new survey revealed that most people believe that distracted driving is a growing problem on the roads today.

Most drivers in Virginia know that using their cellphone while they drive is a dangerous activity, but with so many initiatives and laws to combat this dangerous activity, it could be assumed that driver distraction is decreasing on roadways throughout the U.S. However, according to a new survey produced by AAA, nine out of 10 drivers believe that distracted driving is an increasing issue.

Many drivers text behind the wheel

Not only do drivers believe that distracted driving is a growing problem, but 88 percent of those who participated in this survey worry about it more than the following issues:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Aggressive driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Drunk driving

Despite the results of this survey, federal estimates currently suggest that over the past few years, car accidents have declined by approximately two percent, which may be attributed to the fact that this driving risk could be significantly underreported.

The AAA conducted their own research using teenage drivers with dash cam videos. After analyzing the results of this study, it was determined that distraction plays a role in about 58 percent of motor vehicle crashes, which is much lower than the federal estimate of 14 percent.

Distracted driving defined

While many may think that distracted driving merely involves using a cellphone and operating a vehicle, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines distracted driving as anything that removes a driver's full attention from driving. This means that activities like switching the channel on the radio, engaging in conversation with passengers, eating and drinking or grooming activities, like shaving or applying makeup, are forms of distracted driving.

There are also three categories of distracted driving, and they include visual distraction, manual distraction and cognitive distraction. Visual distraction occurs when a driver stops looking at the road and manual distraction happens when a driver removes his or her hands from the steering wheel. Finally, cognitive distraction occurs when a driver stops mentally focusing on driving. While any form of visual, manual or cognitive distraction is dangerous, texting and driving is the most hazardous because it combines all three forms of distraction.

Reach out to an attorney

Drivers in Virginia involved in a car accident caused by distracted driving may experience severe injuries and have a difficult time returning to school, work or other normal daily activities. For this reason, those harmed in an accident should reach out to an attorney in their area who can help them protect their best legal and financial interests.