Authorities report that in Florida during 2017 there were nearly 50,000 car accidents that involved distracted driving. The numbers are sobering as distracted driving-related car accidents accounted for greater than 12 percent of all car accidents in Florida during 2017. 50,000 distracted driving-related car accidents during 2016 resulted in 220 victims killed and another 3,000 serious injuries to victims. There is a total of 137 distracted driving-related car accidents each day throughout Florida; more than five per hour.
Distracted driving reduces driver reaction times, which increases the danger of being in a car accident on the roadways. Distracted driving behaviors include anything that removes the driver’s focus from the roadway, hands from the wheel or eyes from the road. Texting while driving or using a cell phone while driving can be particularly dangerous because it combines all three forms of distracted driving and removes the driver’s hands from the wheel, eyes from the road and mind from the task at hand of driving and safely reaching the driver’s destination.
Distractions that resulted in car accidents might have been from the use of a cell phone or radio, or eating while driving, but all are part of the dangerous behavior that results in risks on the roadways.
Specific distracted driving behaviors, unfortunately, include many common behaviors such as: texting; grooming, including putting on makeup while driving; reaching into the back seat to comfort a child or reaching for other loose items in the vehicle; and adjusting the radio or navigation system.
When a distracted driver has caused a car accident that results in injury or harm to victims, victims may have personal injury legal protections available to them that will compensate them for their injuries and hold the inattentive driver accountable. Because distracted driving is such a serious problem, it is important that victims are familiar with the legal resources and options available to them.