Daytona Beach, FL – Last year, there were 56,000 distracted driving crashes in Florida, which prompted local authorities to launch a state-wide awareness campaign in 2022. “When you get behind the wheel you only have one job, and that’s to ensure you and your passengers reach your destination safely,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes at the launch of the Put It Down: Focus on Driving campaign.
According to statistics, 350 Florida residents were killed and over 2,700 were seriously injured in distracted driving accidents in 2021.
Distracted driving is a form of negligence and you should get in touch with a skilled Daytona Beach accident lawyer to examine your legal options if you were injured in this type of crash.
How is distracted driving defined in Florida?
All states use the CDC’s guidelines to define distracted driving. The CDC experts have described three types of distractions:
- Visual – when the driver takes their eyes off the road
- Manual – when the driver takes their hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – when the driver takes their mind off the road.
In most cases, there is a combination of these three factors involved.
What are the main types of distractions that lead to car accidents?
Texting is by far the most common distraction. For instance, when a driver wants to look at a message on his phone, he’ll take a hand off the wheel and his eyes will focus on the screen. Even if the message is short and unimportant, his mind will be on it for a couple of seconds. However, if the driver is caught up in an argument with his girlfriend, he will ignore the traffic for a longer period while he thinks of a good answer. Texting while driving is illegal in Florida.
Tending to kids or pets
A fussy child will make the driver lose focus. In many cases, a parent will turn to reassure a small child in the backseat or give them back their pacifier. Parents with older children can easily be dragged into a heated argument and they’ll pay less attention to traffic.
Pets can also be a bother, even if they are properly secured.
Adjusting the radio, climate control or GPS
Most drivers won’t think much of it, but anything can happen while they take their hand off the wheel and start fiddling with various controls on the dashboard. To avoid accidents, drivers should deal with everything before getting on the road.
You’d be surprised to learn how many drivers find it appropriate to look in the mirror, comb their hair or apply makeup while they’re driving. Some were caught while applying nail polish, as incredible as it may sound.
Eating and drinking
It is not illegal to eat or drink while driving, but it can be very distracting. If you got a sandwich at the local Subway, one hand will be busy holding it and let’s not mention the distraction caused by a ketchup stain on your dress.
If the driver is drinking alcohol at the wheel, it’s no longer about distracted driving. If you’re ever involved in an accident and the driver seems intoxicated, have a quick look at the inside of his car. Maybe you can spot an open alcohol container. Make sure to point it out to the police, as this is a DUI case and you may be able to get punitive damages as well.
If you were recently injured in a car accident in the Daytona Beach area, schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Pappas & Russell PA, and let them help you with your claim.
213 Silver Beach Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
Phone: (386) 254-2941
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