Why Is Cell Phone Use While Driving So Deadly?

Despite all the education, warnings, and laws passed banning the use of a cell phone while driving, countless drivers cause serious crashes each day because they just cannot put their phones away. Cell phone use while driving is incredibly prevalent – and dangerous – that it is responsible for killing nine people every day in the United States and injuring another 1,000.

Law enforcement, safety advocates, and car accident victims and their families ask why it is so difficult to stay off the phone when you are supposed to be focused on the road. Multiple studies have revealed what factors may be at play. The following is a brief overview of the results of some of those studies. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, call our office to speak with one of our  Virginia Beach car accident attorneys.


Most of us instantly react to our phones whenever there is an alert letting us know of an incoming call, text, email, or social media posting. When you pick your phone up to see what that alert is for, you are even more distracted from what is taking place around you because your attention has now been directed to that alert. Even when a person is driving, the urge to check remains despite the dangers of taking their eyes off the road. It is even easier to be distracted if the person is waiting for an important call or message. In these situations, a driver should pull over to a safe area before they check to see what the alert is for.


These days it seems we are constantly multitasking. For example, nobody just sits and watches television anymore. When many of us sit in front of the TV, we also look at our phones, check emails, text, and engage with others on our social media accounts, all while watching a program. But looking at your phone while watching a show means you miss a line or two of dialogue. Looking at your phone while driving could mean you miss seeing the child crossing at the crosswalk.

False Sense of Security with Hands-Free Devices

Virginia, like many states in the country, has a hands-free driving law.

This means that no driver can use a device unless it has hands-free technology that lets the driver answer messages and calls through voice commands or by using their vehicle dashboard controls. But even having a conversation on your hands-free device causes enough of a distraction to take your full attention off the road. You are focusing on the conversation, and that may mean a delay in foreseeing a potential hazard, causing a slower reaction time and possible crash.

So, how can you avoid distractions when driving? We recommend the following tips:

  • Make sure to put your phone and any other electronics in a place where you won’t be distracted by them and where you can’t access them.
  • Set your smartphone so that anyone who calls or texts will be informed that you are driving and will return their call later.
  • If you do have to make a call, text, check emails, or do any other task with your phone, pull over to a safe spot before picking up that phone.
  • Before you begin to drive, make sure to set your vehicle’s temperature, radio, navigation, and other controls.

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm for Help

If you have suffered an injury in an accident caused by a driver engaged in distracted driving behaviors, you may be worried about both the physical and financial impact the accident will have. Even one trip to the emergency room can cost thousands of dollars, and if you were admitted to the hospital, needed surgery, or other treatments, those medical bills could skyrocket.

Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be unable to work while you recover. This means a loss of income for many people. Some victims find they are unable to go back to the professions they had before the accident and injury occurred because there is often some degree of permanent damage and/or chronic pain.

If you would like to discuss your situation, contact our office to speak with an experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorney. Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for accident victims for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve, like the $95,000 insurance settlement for one client who suffered serious injuries that resulted in permanent partial disability after another driver crashed into his car.

Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.  Our offices are located in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Hampton, Suffolk, and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.