Car accidents can be caused by an assortment of factors, from inclement weather to texting and driving, the possibilities are endless.
Distracted driving definitely tops the charts as being one of the most prevalent causes of car accidents in Florida. While most distracted driving accounted for these days is a result of texting and driving, other acts of distraction are also included, such as eating, grooming, or even talking with passengers in the car. However, distracted driving is most commonly associated with texting.
So let’s look at some of the stats.
Distracted Driving in Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has maintained a partnership with law enforcement to reduce distracted driving through their Put It Down: Focus on Driving campaign.
Texting and driving is illegal in Florida and if you’re caught you will be issued a ticket, similar to driving over the speed limit or violating any other traffic law.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
According to the FLHSMV, there are three main types of distraction when driving:
- Visual – Taking your eyes off the road. Ex. Texting while driving
- Manual – When your hands are not available to steer correctly. Ex. Eating
- Cognitive – Drifting thoughts not associated with driving. Ex. Daydreaming
Truly, texting and driving violate all three of these types of distractions which adds to the dangers of participating in the act. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) notes that a risk of a car crash is 2-6 times higher when the driver is engaged in cell phone use.
When compared to drunk driving, distracted driving has been shown to slow a driver’s reaction time by 35% whereas drunk driving slows a driver’s reaction by 12%. And it is well known nowadays that drunk driving is extremely dangerous, yet texting and driving remains prevalent.
The IIHS has even noted that statistics on distracted driving are fairly inaccurate, as most drivers are not willing to offer up the information that they were distracted and it is difficult for police to prove.
Victims of Distracted Driving
Since distracted driving is difficult to prove, victims may encounter difficulty when it comes time to seek compensation and determine fault.
The best you can do as a driver is to ensure you, yourself are not distracted when you hit the road.
Know that the state of Florida and law enforcement are taking the steps that they can to attempt reducing the amount of distracted driving, however, as mentioned above, the issue remains prevalent and difficult to prove.
If you are a victim of distracted driving, the best thing you can do is to seek the necessary medical care that you need and contact a skilled personal injury attorney right away. Each case is different and it’s important to know your options. You will need someone on your side as you navigate the tricky world of auto insurance claims and working with insurance adjusters.
Give us a call today if you have any questions or would like to speak with an attorney.