Distracted Driving Dangers
Anti texting-while-driving campaigns have been on the rise across the country, and now close to home. Of the over 153.3 billion text messages sent in the United States alone in 2013, countless were sent on the way to or from work, home, or school, jeopardizing the safety of themselves and others on the road. Texting is not the only distraction; distracted driving may include fiddling with an iPod or radio, putting on makeup, talking to passengers, eating, smoking, having an animal or child in the car, or a myriad of other possible things that can make a person take their eyes off the road for even a split second.
Understanding Distracted Driving
Florida is in the minority in that it has not yet implemented a complete cell phone ban like most other states. In fact, while state law bans texting and driving, it does not ban handheld cell phone use altogether (although many people are wising up and using hands free devices, which is becoming more convenient since many newer vehicles have Bluetooth technology integrated in the vehicle).
The problem with distracted driving is that when you are driving on a public roadway, you owe a duty toward other drivers to act reasonably safe and observe traffic laws. Distracted driving may be visual, in which you take your eyes off the road, manual, where you remove your hands from the steering wheel, or cognitive, where you “zone out” or become focused on something else besides driving. If someone has become distracted and they cause an accident, which causes injury or damage to another, they may be held liable.
The most common distracted driver is the one that grew up with a cell phone glued to their hand: many young drivers (under the age of 20) involved in fatal accidents were distracted at the time of the accident and consistently had the most frequent reports of distracted driving. Though this is the most common age, 69% of drivers ranging from ages 18-64 admitted to texting when driving within the last 30 days. This is a problem that spans all age groups and can affect any driver, passenger, or pedestrian on the road. The state of Florida implemented a “graduated license” program for new drivers that restricts driving at certain times and the passengers that can be in the car. While this program aims to limit distracted driving and allow young drivers to ease into being on the road, the cell phone, GPS, and other electronic devices are not part of this program and run the risk of creating distractions that may have grave consequences to others.
Miami, Florida Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
It is easy to get distracted while in the car. No one can truthfully say they have never taken their eyes off the road to adjust the radio, take a call, or pick up a dropped item. Regardless of the innocent motives behind these actions, a distracted driver that causes harm to another individual may be liable to the injured party under Florida law. If you or anyone you know has been injured or killed in an auto accident involving a distracted driver, or any auto accident, our knowledgeable distracted driving lawyers in Miami, Florida can help. We understand that you want justice for the harm that was caused, and will work with you through this emotionally difficult time. We are always available to hear about your case; please contact our Miami offices today.