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Smartphones have more computing power than the computers that put men on the moon back in 1969. You can browse the internet, look up the closest place to buy something you need and watch your favorite movies all from a device around the size of a deck of cards, or perhaps a little larger.

This technological advancement has changed the world, but it has also made it a more dangerous place. Far too many drivers use their phones as they travel at highway speeds. Doing so puts more lives in danger on Virginia’s roadways than ever before. Of course, this isn’t the only thing distracting drivers, but many say it is the most dangerous.

People don’t talk to each other anymore

The media coverage, law enforcement and advocacy group efforts appear to have had some effect on people talking on their phones while driving. Between 2014 and 2018, the number of people driving and talking on their phones dropped. However, the number of people using their phones to text, using social media and engaging in other uses of their phones behind the wheel continues to present a significant problem.

A study conducted right here in northern Virginia by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety discovered that around one out of every four drivers was doing something other than driving. If you use your cellphone for something other than a call while driving, your risk of ending up in an accident apparently increases around 66 percent. Among talking on your phone in general, the most often seen distractions include the following:

  • Wearing earbuds or headphones
  • Wearing a bluetooth device
  • Holding a cellphone when talking on it
  • Holding and manipulating a cellphone
  • Using a GPS, infotainment or other in-vehicle system
  • Eating or drinking
  • Smoking
  • Grooming
  • Singing or talking

The majority of distractions involve the use of technology that requires your eyes, hands and mind. Who is driving your vehicle then? Perhaps if more people asked that question before they pull out their cellphones while driving, they would think twice about doing so. Even if you know better than to use your cellphone while driving, others do not. If you suffer injuries due to another person’s actions, cellphone use could prove negligence in any personal injury claim you file seeking compensation for your financial losses and other permissible damages.