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Distracted Driving: A brief review and tips

Distracted driving is considered driving while performing any activity that could distract you from your primary task of operating your car. The distraction can be visual (takes your eyes off the road), manual (takes your hands of the wheel) or cognitive (takes your mind off driving). Florida has banned texting, emailing or instant messaging while driving. It is an activity that distracts the driver encompasses all three types of distraction visual, manual and cognitive.

Recently, a distracted driver in Palm Beach jumped a drawbridge as it was opening because the driver was distracted by his GPS, a modern way to use maps. Florida has banned driving while texting, but there are still traditional forms of distracted driving that can cause an accident, including:

  • Eating;
  • Drinking;
  • Personal grooming;
  • Reading;
  • Adjusting a radio;
  • Reading a map;
  • Reaching for an object; and
  • Attending to a pet or child.

Unfortunately, Florida still allows drivers to use cell phones while driving. More importantly, a police officer would only issue a ticket for driving while texting to a driver they pulled over for another offense (e.g. failure to stop, running a red light) and would not pull a driver over for simply holding a cell phone while driving. This means drivers are still texting, driving and causing accidents.

What happens if someone is driving while texting and causes an accident?

A distracted driver may be liable for injuries caused in an accident. If you were in an accident with a driver and you suspect they were texting when the accident occurred, then you may be able to hold the other driver liable by filing a personal injury claim.

What should I do if a driver caused an accident because they were texting?

Make sure to collect all the information you can after an accident. Here are a few quick reminders of the information to collect and important next steps:

  • Ask for the other driver’s information: make sure to get insurance information from the other driver.
  • Collect information from witnesses: if there are witnesses make sure to quickly get their contact information.
  • Document the accident: use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the damage to your car and the other driver’s car.
  • Get a copy of the policy report: if the other driver was issued a ticket this will be key to your claim.
  • Seek medical care for your injuries: make sure to see a medical professional if you have any injuries or begin to feel symptoms.

All accidents take an emotional and financial toll on those not at fault. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the accident, if you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation can include pain and suffering damages, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, or other losses. The Miami personal injury attorneys at Alan Goldfarb, P.A. know how to approach these cases to give you the best possible outcome. If you have any questions about a possible claim, contact us today and let us talk to you about your rights.

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