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Assessing the problem of distracted driving in Florida

Drivers have significant responsibility to take adequate care to ensure the safety of others on the roadways. Oftentimes, drivers allow their attention and focus while driving to be diverted by distractions that can lead to car accidents, injuries and harm. Since 2012, distracted driving-related car accidents have increased in Florida by 25 percent. Drivers aged 20 to 29 were responsible for 31 percent of distracted driving car crashes.

Each distracted-driving car accident represents car accident victims that are injured or otherwise harmed. There are three primary categories of driver distraction. Types of distracted driving include visual distractions; manual distractions; and cognitive distractions. Visual distractions include distractions when drivers remove their eyes from the roadway; manual distractions include distractions when drivers remove their hands from the steering wheel; and cognitive distractions include when drivers remove their focus from the roadway.

Specific types of distraction drivers may engage in can include texting; operating a navigation device or radio; eating or drinking while driving; grooming while driving; and interacting with passengers while driving, as well as some additional types of distraction. Distracted driving can lead to serious car accidents that can result in serious injuries, death and harm to victims. Victims harmed in a distracted driving-related car accident may suffer a host of physical, financial and emotional damages. In an effort to protect victims from distracted driving, distracted drivers, or negligent drivers, may be liable to compensate victims for their injuries following a distracted-driving car accident.

Because victims of car accidents may unexpectedly face a variety of challenges following a car accident, resources and remedies are available to help protect them. As a result, it is important for car accident victims to be familiar with the legal options available to them for the harm they have suffered.

Source: Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, "Distracted Driving," Accessed March 13, 2016

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