The numbers are in and it is now official. Virginia has a distracted driving problem.
A study was conducted by road safety company, ZenDrive, places Virginia at the top of the list for the most distracted drivers in the entire country. Maryland was tenth while the District of Columbia came in at 17. So, what is the problem in Virginia? Why does this state have so many distracted drivers?
“Our laws are too loose on the matter. It’s just that simple,” says John M. Cooper of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers. “When police officers essentially cannot enforce a law, it is a useless law and people will not abide by it. This is a main reason there are so many distracted drivers on Virginia’s roads.”
How could a law be the problem when Virginia actually does ban texting and driving? It is because that is all the law bans. In Virginia, people can do whatever they want with their phones while they are behind the wheel, as long as they do not text or email. They can still use their GPS, watch videos, browse social media and even play games.
This makes enforcing the ban on texting and driving extremely difficult. Officers can pull a driver over if they see them on their phone, but those drivers can simply claim they were using their phone for another purpose. Without a new law banning all use of handheld devices, the problem is only going to grow.
That is just one problem surrounding distracted driving in Virginia. The other, perhaps much bigger problem, is that many drivers do not fully understand just how dangerous their behavior is. Without that realization, particularly if the law remains as it is, there is no reason for these ‘phone addicts’ to put the phone down while they are driving.
Unfortunately, that means more car accidents, and more lives taken on Virginia’s roads. Clearly, the Commonwealth needs a new law that will save those lives and reduce the number of crashes that are seen year after year.