Distracted Driving is More Dangerous Than You Think
Although the laws in Florida have toughened to try to discourage drivers from driving while using cell phones, distracted driving remains a serious and deadly problem. People often don’t realize just how dangerous it can be to be texting while operating a vehicle.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is prevalent mainly because of the number of things in our cars that can distract us. Texting happens to have a unique place in distracted driving, as it tends to both distract our minds, as well as our eyes from the road. But cell phones aren’t the only cause of distracted driving. Today’s cars come with huge, often complex “infotainment” systems, on screens which can take our eyes off the road while we navigate the menus on the screens.
Even things like eating, putting on makeup, or looking for something in our cars, can constitute distracted driving. Distracted driving also includes situations where our eyes may be on the road, but our mind may not be. Just the simple act of reaching for an object can increase the chances of a car accident by 8 times.
Distracted Driving is a Big Problem
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 9 people die and about 1,000 people are injured every single day because of distracted driving. In 2017, of all the accidents that resulted in the death of teen drivers, nearly 10% involved distracted driving. Of all teenagers involved in car accidents, nearly a quarter – 21% – were distracted by their cell phones.
In case you believe that you are taking your eyes off the road for “just a moment,” remember that if you are going 55 miles per hour, and you take your eyes off the road for only 5 seconds, that is long enough for your vehicle to travel the length of an entire football field. The obstacle that you eventually hit when you look up, may not have even been visible when you first took your eyes off the road.
Florida Law Gets Tough
Florida recently toughened its distracted driving laws, at least when it comes to cell phones, making texting while driving a primary offense. That means that even if a driver is doing nothing else wrong, and even if the driver is otherwise driving lawfully and legally, police can stop someone who is texting on their phone. Of course, that is only texting; it does not eliminate the other distractions that have nothing to do with texting.
Drivers who are injured by another driver who was texting can obtain cell phone records of the negligent driver, demonstrating that the phone was being used to text at the time of the accident.
Were you injured in a car accident, whether because of a distracted driver or the negligence of another driver? Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help.