Every day about 8 people in the United States are killed in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
Distracted driving can consist of many things but generally speaking, distracted driving occurs while operating a motor vehicle but engaging in another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.
Anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction. Sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, eating while driving, even fatigued driving are a few examples of distracted driving. Any of these distractions can endanger you, your passengers, and others on the road.
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off driving
The biggest contributor to distracted driving is the use of a cell phone. Checking a text message while driving at 55 mph is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
90% of teens admit to using their smartphone while driving in some capacity.
Current Florida law
According to Florida Law, Statute 316.305 listed below, no driver may text while behind the wheel. The law is secondary, which means that law enforcement officers may not pull over drivers solely based on spotting the behavior. Some critics believe that the texting ban should be enforceable on a primary basis.
While many other states have addressed the use of handheld and hands-free devices, Florida has yet to do so. Therefore, drivers can still talk on their phones either holding the device or using an in-car infotainment system. As a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety demonstrates, the use of hands-free technology can be just as distracting as manually sending a text message. Advocates of stricter laws note that prohibiting certain drivers – such as teen and other novice motorists – from using hands-free and hand-held devices could help to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents.
Distracted Driving Injuries and Fatalities
In 2020, there were 48,488 distracted driving crashes. Of these, there were:
- 2,747 serious injuries
- 299 distracted driving fatalities
This number has increased every year. In 2019 there were 267 deaths, and in 2018 there were 235 deaths.
Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Distracted Driver?
Sustaining an injury after being involved in a motor vehicle crash due to a distracted driver is a devastating event. Not knowing where to turn for help can make it that much more stressful when going through the challenges of healing from a severe injury. Know that you are not alone, and ALVAREZ GOWER INJURY LAW is here to help you through this difficult time. We have helped countless Floridians seek justice after being involved in an accident and receive the compensation they deserve.