Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Distracted driving extends beyond texting into app use

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In Virginia and across the country, there should be certain activities that are off-limits while operating a motor vehicle. Such activities can create a distracted driver, putting others in danger. These distracting activities include texting and driving, which is becoming a growing concern. While law enforcement attempts to reduce the number of people who are texting and using their smartphones while behind the wheel, such attempts are not always effective. Teens are particularly vulnerable to the temptation. This can lead to an auto accident with injuries and even fatalities. To compound matters, there is an increasing incidence of teens who are using their smartphones while driving not just for texting, but also for playing popular games. This makes the roads even more dangerous.

While the highest number of fatalities for teen drivers stems from driving while distracted, the risks have risen with the popularity of Pokemon Go. The number of teens who are taking part in this seemingly harmless activity has increased the number who are doing it while driving. AAA is warning those who have a teen driver in the household, and the teens themselves, against the practice. Because the game is so competitive and the goal is to "catch" Pokemon, it has inadvertently caused a great number of people to drive while taking part.

Teen drivers have admitted to using their smartphones while playing the game and assert that they are cautious and drive slowly while doing it. What they do not realize is that research has indicated that the dangers of being a distracted driver is significant, with the mental rush of hearing the indicator of a text, email or other notification contributing to the level of distraction.

While drivers might not realize the threats they pose to themselves and others while using their smartphones while driving, the number of teens engaging in such behavior, 70 percent, indicates that there is a major risk of other drivers encountering these teens. When an auto accident is caused by this distracted driving it can lead to injuries, massive expenses, and fatalities. Those who are in a car wreck need to know how and why it happened. A full investigation can help with this determination and also aid in filing a legal claim to seek compensation for damages suffered. A legal professional is a key in gathering this information and filing a case.

Source: KALB, "New study shows that 70% of teens admit to using apps while driving," Max Lindsey, Aug. 2, 2016

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