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Is texting and driving really that bad?

The answer to the question in this headline is, in a word, yes. Texting while you are driving is one of the most dangerous things a person can do because it is so distracting.

It is so distracting because it involves all three types of distractions: visual, cognitive and manual. And when a person is distracted in three different ways, their abilities to drive safely decrease considerably. To get a better idea of why texting is so dangerous, let’s break it down by distraction.

  • Visual distraction: Imagine closing your eyes and driving through a football stadium. It would be pretty scary, right? That is easily the distance a person could travel while they are looking down at a phone sending or reading a text while driving. And when you are traveling that fast, the ramifications of a collision could be catastrophic.
  • Cognitive distraction: Have you ever read a full page of a book or an article and thought, “Wait, what did I just read?” Chances are, you were cognitively distracted and couldn’t pay attention to both the distracting thought and what you were reading. That is what happens why you are thinking about what you are reading or writing in a text, which is why distracted drivers often think other people or vehicles “came out of nowhere.”
  • Manual distraction: If you are holding your phone, you are not in full control of your vehicle. This can make it impossible to swerve, honk the horn or do anything else with your hands to prevent a collision. 

Unfortunately, too many people on Virginia roadways still seem to think that they are perfectly capable of operating a motor vehicle while they are visibly, cognitively and manually distracted. Sadly, it is the people injured in a car accident caused by that driver who ultimately suffer the consequences.

If you have been injured by a driver who was texting, you have the right to seek compensation for damages. Consulting an attorney can help you file a claim and hold the negligent driver accountable.

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