Responsible drivers understand that they would place themselves and others in immediate danger if they drove while drunk, falling asleep at the wheel or experiencing road rage. However, the single most dangerous behavior that a Virginia motorist can choose to engage in is distracted driving. According to newly released statistics, four out of five accidents occurring on a daily basis in Virginia are now caused by distracted drivers.
A new AAA survey and accompanying report entitled "Orange Cones, No Phones," examines the extent of the distracted driving hazard in Virginia by focusing intently on the behaviors drivers engage in while traveling on the I-95 corridor. This area is now under construction. As a result, drivers should be paying even more attention to the road when traveling this stretch than they usually would. However, one in five respondents to the AAA survey admit that while they are on this stretch of I-95, they text while driving. Chances are that even more drivers text in this area and simply will not admit to the behavior.
Interestingly, the same general percentage of drivers admitting to texting while driving in this area also admit that they have had near accidents due to various distractions. And yet, these motorists often continue to choose to engage in distracted driving behavior. In fact, nearly half of those who specifically admit to texting while driving presently also admit to either being involved in a distracted driving accident in the past or experiencing near misses as a result of various distractions.
It is both illogical and irrational that someone who has admitted to being involved in accidents or experiencing near misses would continue the behavior that inspired those frightening events. Until safety experts, legislators or popular culture can find a way to get through to these negligent drivers, all other Virginia motorists should drive even more carefully so that the choices of others do not lead to accidents that will impact your life and the lives of your family.