CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM) — The video messaging app Zoom has become widely used by many. But it is now also becoming a distraction for drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Janet Brooking, Executive Director of Drive Smart Virginia said, “They’re three kinds of distractions, cognitive, manual, and visual. If you’re Zooming while driving you’re more than likely engaging in all of those kinds of distractions.”

According to a study completed by “Zendrive,” comparing driving before and during the COVID-19 pandemic found that the use of cell phones behind the wheel went up 38%.

“While crashes and fatalities are down overall when you look at vehicle miles driven and the number of people on the roadway they’re up sometimes up towards 30% over more normal times so to speak,” said Brooking.

Although distracted driving is a major cause of accidents, people participating in Zoom meetings should never join while driving according to Brooking.

“You can have a policy to not permit people to participate in your Zoom calls while driving. Whether you’re the administrator of that call or whether you’re a company I feel like you have a responsibility. You can also go far to help people stay safe by prohibiting those calls or those meetings to be taken while driving,” said Brooking.

Starting January of 2021 Virginia will ban handheld cellphone use while driving.