Dangers of Distracted Driving

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On Monday, a Staunton man fought for his life at the University of Virginia Medical Center after being involved in a car crash on I-81. Police said his cellphone may be to blame.

It is not just teens using their cellphones while driving. One driver, in his 60's, was found upside down in his car clutching his cellphone. He was not making a phone call or texting.

"He was connected to an internet site, and was observing the internet site while he was driving down the road," said Sgt. K. L. Hyden.

Sgt. Hyden sees people of all ages make the same mistakes.

"It's not just those youngsters out there who are 16 and 17 years old, that sometimes create a hazard for the motoring public. It's everyone, has the potential for driving distracted. Everyone has the potential of being involved in a serious accident."

Hyden said drivers can be distracted in many ways besides cellphones. He said the number one cause he sees for accidents is eating and drinking behind the wheel. Drivers can also look at their GPS, adjust radio controls, talk to passengers or children, look in the rear-view mirror or look at a road side incident.

No matter how many times he tells people, and even after all the public service announcements, he said people will not follow the advice.

"People will still do it. People are still going to use their cellphone while they're driving."

Monday's crash could have been prevented by putting down the cellphone.

"Maybe not have been texting, but looking at an internet site on his cellphone, is still driving distracted."

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