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April is for raising awareness about distracted driving

In Virginia, 80 percent of crashes are related to someone who is driving while distracted. It only takes a second or two for a serious accident to happen. That can result in injuries or death for you, the passengers in your vehicle, the driver and passengers in the other vehicle or pedestrians.

One of the most common causes of distracted driving is talking or using a mobile phone or device while driving. When a driver is texting or talking on his or her cellphone, this increases the chances that he or she will be in an accident -- 23 times over.

Cellphone use isn't the only cause of distracted driving. Anything that keeps someone's mind or eyes off the road for a second or more is can be distraction.

The non-profit group DRIVE SMART Virginia wants to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. They work with law enforcement, government agencies, safety advocates and employers about how distracted driving is unsafe.

If you have been injured in a car accident that was due to another person's negligence or recklessness, you have a right to seek compensation from that party. This is done in civil court and is different from any criminal charges the driver may face. The accident report and testimony from police officers can help develop a strong case. The criminal case does not have to be won in order to file a lawsuit, though.

A lawyer who is experienced in personal injury cases can help you understand what will happen if your case is allowed to proceed.

Source: drivesmartva.org, "Distracted Driving," accessed April 15, 2016

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