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When You Hear "Distracted Driving," What Pops into Your Head?

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month—an effort to reduce and eliminate deaths caused by distracted or negligent drivers.

When you hear “distracted driving,” what pops into your head? Texting, right?

But texting is only part of the problem. Any activity that takes the driver's attention away from driving can be dangerous.

Driving distractions can be visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking your mind off the task of driving). Eating, grooming, chatting with a passenger—Attorney Paul Hernandez sums it up best in this video.

Because distractions take many forms, even hands-free devices like Bluetooth headsets can be dangerous. Over 30 independent studies found that using a headset while driving is no safer than holding a phone, partly because a headset is still a cognitive distraction.

According to the Department of Transportation, over 3,000 Americans were killed in 2013 alone because of distracted driving. Plus, an additional 424,000 were injured by drivers who weren't paying attention behind the wheel. The simple act of checking your GPS, daydreaming, or applying makeup can put innocent lives at risk.

The main reason there are so many incidents involving injury or death is that so many people use electronic devices while driving. The Department of Transportation says that, at any given time during the day, almost 700,000 drivers are using a phone or other device behind the wheel.

Many people think sending a quick text or checking the weather is safe because it only takes a few seconds. But did you know that in the time it takes to tap out a quick 55 MPH you've traveled the length of a football field...with your eyes closed?

Kalfus & Nachman takes distracted driving awareness seriously. We're a partner of The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, dedicated to educating teens—the people most likely to be involved in an accident due to distracted driving—about its potential risks.

If you have been seriously injured, or a loved one has been killed or injured by a distracted driver in Virginia or Northeast North Carolina, please contact Kalfus & Nachman today or call (855) 880-8163 for a free consultation. We have offices in Newport News, Norfolk, and Roanoke, Virginia.