April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the commonwealth

Using a cellphone is one of most dangerous distractions


ROANOKE, Va. – Last year in Virginia, there were more than 24,000 crashes in the Commonwealth caused by distractions that killed more than 100 people and hurt nearly 14,000 drivers. 

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, according to Drive Smart Virginia

Activities such as talking or texting on your phone, posting on Snapchat or any other social media site, or fiddling with your stereo and other in-vehicle technologies can pose a threat to your safety.

In recent reports, fiddling with your cellphone is one of the most dangerous forms of distraction because it involves your hands, eyes and attention.

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated, "manipulating a cellphone was a contributing factor in more than 800 crash deaths on U.S. roads during 2017 amid a marked increase in the percentage of drivers observed interacting with cellphones."

According to Drive Smart Virginia, 24,350 distraction-related crashes killed 126 people and injured 13,733 last year. 

In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 727, recognizing April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the Commonwealth.

"Ending distracted driving is everyone's responsibility," said officials with the National Safety Council. 

Drive Smart Virginia released some of the top tips for avoiding diver distraction, including use of the "do not disturb" feature on your phone, entering addresses into your GPS device before driving, never reaching for something that has fallen or slid away from you and not eating, drinking and smoking while driving. 

Drive Smart Virginia encourages Virginia drivers to sign a pledge to ignore the distractions and keep us all safer on the roads. You can sign the pledge here