Is Florida Distracted Driving Getting Worse?
One of the most common causes of accidents in the state of Florida is distracted driving. Roughly up to 25% of all car accidents are caused by some form of distracted driving. Florida is also one of the largest contributors to the grand total of fatalities caused by distracted driving across the entire country. This scourge of the roadways has long caused many people to suffer severe injury and even death across Florida roadways, but could it possibly be getting worse?
The primary form of distracted driving that seems to cause the most accidents is texting while driving. Ever since the advent of this form of cellular communications at the turn of the century, drivers have been forgoing attention of the road to read incoming messages and type replies. It goes without saying that the development of the technology did not stop there. Our cellular devices have only grown more complex with time. It is no longer just texting that threatens to pull our attention away from the road but now there are all kinds of apps that provide similar messaging and social network services as well as the same negative distractions of texting.
Changes in Cellphone Driver Distraction
Recent studies have examined how drivers have changed with this new technology; specifically how distracted driving has changed over the years. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study done in Virginia recently found that drivers there were 57% more likely to be manipulating their phone than a previous study that was done in 2014.
Driver Distraction with Riskier Smartphone Use
The study done by the IIHS seems to conclude that drivers are now engaging in even riskier smartphone use than in previous years. Figures indicated that talking on the cellphone was less likely and manipulation of a cellular device in different ways was now more frequent. With so many options of communication and similar distraction available, it’s no wonder that smartphone use while driving has gotten even riskier.
Social media offers several routes of distraction in the form of applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. On top of social media, internet access may lead to some to surf the web, hunt down music on apps like Spotify, or maybe take video footage when they should be paying attention to their driving. Smartphone use, in general, has been shown to increase the chance of an accident occurring by 66%. Driver distraction via smartphone is a mistake made across many demographics yet the biggest offenders are younger drivers in their teens and twenties.
Distracted Driving is More Than Just Risky Smartphone Use
While smartphones account for a large portion of accidents caused by distracted driving, there are actually many kinds of distracted driving that people can engage in and increase their risk of causing an accident. Distracted driving itself can be defined as the act of attempting to operate a vehicle while your attention is focused on another task. There are three different categories an instance of distracted driving can fall under.
Visual: The driver takes their eyes off the road.
Manual: The driver takes their hands off the steering wheel.
Cognitive: The driver takes their focus away from safe driving.
When a driver engages in distracted driving and takes focus away from one of these essential aspects of driving they put themselves at more risk than they realize. Many people claim to be able to multitask but do not be fooled, it has been proven that the brain does not handle multiple tasks the way that many people believe. For example, something as simple as reading a text message can take your eyes off the road while you travel several feet blindly, your hand is taken off the steering wheel to text and not help steer, and your mind is focused on the task of reading instead of looking out for hazards on the road.
Common Forms of Distracted Driving
- Texting and other smartphone use
- Eating or drinking
- Changing music
- Adjusting air conditioning
- Applying makeup
- Reaching for items
Distracted Driving and Florida Law
Despite all of the dangers distracted driving poses for people on the road, Florida is one of four states that do not have laws enforcing the stop of texting while driving. Although texting while driving is illegal, police cannot pull over a person for texting while driving for that reason alone. Police would have to pull over someone for another offense and then add on texting while driving as another offense.
Distracted Driver Car Accident Lawsuits
Many are injured and even killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers. A person that has been injured because of an accident caused by a distracted driver has the right to compensation for their injuries but this can often prove more difficult than anticipated. Insurance companies can mount effective defenses and injuries can make taking legal action a very difficult process. This is compounded by the fact that a person may also be unable to work and will have lost wages as a result of their injury. In the pursuit of fair compensation for distracted driver car accident injuries, it is recommended that you hire a lawyer to assist with your claim.
Seek an Experienced Distracted Driver Car Accident Attorney
Suffering an injury at the hands of a distracted driver can rack up medical expenses, lost wages, and many other costs that deserve compensation. Consider Dolman Law Group as your legal representation in your pursuit of compensation with a car accident claim. Our lawyers have the experience needed to ensure that your case receives the best chance of success so that you can focus on recovery and getting your life back to normal.
If you were involved in a car accident, our lawyers at Dolman Law Group will investigate your case, and may help you obtain the compensation you need for damage done to your person and property. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Dolman Law Group attorney, please contact us at (727) 451-6900, contact us online, or visit us at one of our three office locations in Florida. We look forward to hearing from you and will vigorously advocate on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765