There are so many things occupying our minds these days that it is easy to get distracted. Work schedules, shopping lists, children’s school activities and family obligations all compete for our attention. The demands of technology, such as ringing phones, text alerts, and status updates, are a major distraction that pull us away from what is immediately in front of us. Perhaps no other area of life is as seriously affected by our distracted behavior as our driving. Accidents caused by distracted driving have risen to epidemic proportions, and while public service campaigns seek to raise awareness of the issue, the fact is that our inattentiveness behind the wheel continues to put our own safety, as well as that of our loved ones, in jeopardy.
Distracted driving has risen to epidemic proportions and is a contributing factor in car accidents causing serious, potentially life-threatening injuries to drivers and their passengers. According to Distraction.gov, a website devoted to preventing distracted driving established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation, over 400,000 drivers suffer injuries related to distracted driving accidents each year. Anything that diverts your attention from the road is considered distracted driving. Activities such as texting or talking on cell phones, looking at GPS systems, eating and drinking, and even talking with passengers can divert your attention from the road for long enough to put the safety of yourself and other drivers in danger. Not giving the road your complete attention can result in inadvertently drifting into other lanes of traffic, speeding, running stop signs and missing traffic signals, or overlooking signs of emergency that may require you to brake suddenly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists three main types of distracted driving:
- Visual distractions, in which your eyes are diverted elsewhere;
- Physical distractions, causing you to not have both hands on the wheel; and
- Cognitive distractions, in which your attention wavers and focuses on matters other than the road ahead.
Florida Laws Prohibiting Distracted Driving
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, texting while driving is a contributing cause in an increasing number of traffic accidents each year, despite public service campaigns raises awareness of the danger. As a result, many states have passed laws restricting the use of cell phones and texting while driving. While Florida does not currently have a law restricting the use of cell phones, Florida State Statute 316.305 does authorize law enforcement to cite and fine drivers who are spotted texting while driving. While any form of distracted driving presents an increased risk of accident, texting specifically requires the use of visual, physical and cognitive functions, making it particularly dangerous.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys immediately. At Hogan Frick, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered. Reach out to us today for a consultation on your case.