Distracted driving is a significant problem on roads across the country. In fact, the CDC reports that eight people die every day because of a distracted driver. However, texting behind the wheel is just one form of distracted driving.
The CDC defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off driving. If you believe your car accident resulted from a distracted driver, seek legal representation. At Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, our car accident attorneys can launch a thorough investigation into the accident to determine if distracted driving played a role in the crash.
Why Are Smartphones Dangerous When Driving?
Cell phone use falls under all three forms of distracted driving. Drivers likely have at least one hand off the wheel and are glancing between their phone and the road. Additionally, drivers who use their cell phones split their attention between focusing on the road and their device. Driving demands a high level of attention and concentration. Using a cell phone compromises your safety and the safety of other drivers.
Other Forms of Distracted Driving Are Just as Dangerous
It is vital to remember that using a cell phone while driving is not the only form of distraction. Drivers may engage in other activities without using their cell phones that are just as dangerous. Researchers tend to use three categories when discussing distracted driving: manual, visual, and cognitive distractions.
Manual distractions involve the driver taking one or both hands off the wheel to perform a task. These distractions may include eating, drinking, helping a child, smoking, adjusting the GPS, or changing the radio station. These distractions are dangerous because drivers may not react to hazardous conditions promptly. Drivers may also veer off the road or into other traffic lanes.
Visual distractions include any activity that causes a driver’s eyes to stop looking at the road. Visual impairment may include looking at the GPS, text messages, or billboards. Visual distractions are dangerous because they impair a driver’s ability to assess their surroundings for potential dangers, which all drivers must continuously do to stay safe.
Cognitive distractions are less straightforward than manual and visual distractions since they do not involve taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. These distractions cause a driver’s mind to drift away from driving, which may include talking to passengers, listening to music, or daydreaming. These distractions are deceiving because they allow drivers to have a full view of their surroundings, but they often cannot process hazards in time to avoid a collision.
How Is Florida Combating Distracted Driving?
To combat distracted driving, Florida lawmakers passed statute 316.305. The law prohibits drivers from texting, emailing, and instant messaging when driving. Furthermore, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law in 2019 making texting while driving a primary traffic offense. Penalties may include a $30 fine for first-time offenders, which may increase for subsequent offenses.
Florida also launched the “Put It Down Campaign” to further combat the problem. The program aims to help drivers better understand distracted driving and recognize the risks associated with it. Additionally, the Florida Department of Transportation designated 64 Safe Phone Zones at rest areas, welcome centers, and turnpike service plazas.
Speak to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Orlando Today
Accident victims must remember that just because they suffered injuries in a car accident does not mean they are entitled to financial compensation. To secure compensation for their accident-related expenses, they must first prove that the other driver was negligent. Proving negligence on your own can be challenging, so consider hiring the car accident attorneys at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis.
Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases. We will launch a thorough investigation into the accident by reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing evidence. We can also handle the day-to-day aspects of your case while you focus on recovering. To schedule a free consultation, call (407) 843-7060 or complete our online contact form.