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Virginia's distracted driving problem is focus of design contest

Virginia has a wide variety of interesting license plate designs from which to choose. There are tags available to show support for breast cancer research, wildlife preservation, sports teams or your dedication to a particular hobby (bowling, anyone?). You can also get a personalized license plate, of course, or a tag designed to show off civic pride (there's one for Fairfax County).

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is ready to add a new design, it says: one dedicated to raising awareness of distracted driving. As you know, distracted drivers cause car accidents that result in injuries and fatalities.

The DMV is holding a design contest open to all Virginia high school students. The design chosen for the “Take Action Against Distraction” license plate will mean a $1,000 cash prize for a gifted student.

DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb said, "We’re excited (that) the contest will get high school students throughout Virginia talking about this issue. It’s about raising awareness of distracted driving, discouraging distracted driving, and most importantly, it’s about saving lives."

In 2016, 13 people were killed in Virginia in crashes involving a teenaged distracted driver, the DMV said. Eight-hundred more were injured in teenage distracted driving accidents.

Overall, there were 176 fatalities and more than 15,000 injuries in wrecks caused across all age groups of distracted drivers.

Texting is a common cause of the crashes; it's illegal for any driver to engage in the dangerous behavior.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, you can pursue justice and compensation for all damages with the help of an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.

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