According to WUSF News, not only is distracted driving a problem across the nation, distracted driving behaviors are seeing a large upswing across the state of Florida. In fact, in 2017, the Sunshine State had at least 50,000 car accidents which resulted from drivers who were not focused on the task of driving. The majority of these distracted driving accidents occurred among 20-29-year-old drivers, according to Tom Pikul, Florida Highway Patrol Captain. Pikul believes the reason for the increase in distracted driving accidents among this age group is directly tied to the use of technology.
Despite the fact that it is a violation of Florida law to text while driving, this age group in particular grew up with the technology. As a result, they may find it more difficult to put their phones in the glove box while they drive. Texting while driving is considered a secondary offense in the state of Florida, meaning a driver must be pulled over for another violation before they can be cited for the offense. While Florida lawmakers did consider a measure which would have made texting while driving a primary offense, the bill stalled in the Senate.
Florida Ranks Second for Distracted Drivers
According to a 2017 article in the Sun Sentinel which found Florida ranks second only to Louisiana for distracted driving, the bill should definitely be reconsidered. A motion-sensing app known as EverDrive was used to score drivers on speed, hard braking, aggressive turning, sudden acceleration—and driver movements which indicate cell phone use. The findings of the EverDrive data suggested that a whopping 92 percent of drivers across the nation have used their cell phone while driving within the past month, and that Florida drivers are almost the worst as far as distracted driving goes.
Douglas MacDougall, Fort Lauderdale Police Assistant Chief said the results of the study were not a surprise to him at all. MacDougall says he routinely sees Florida drivers texting while driving, but is unable to ticket them unless they commit a primary offense (Florida is one of only five states which do not allow police officers to pull over drivers who are clearly texting while driving). Distracted driving accidents in Florida are believed to be responsible for more than 3,500 serious injuries, and 233 deaths each and every year, although many believe those numbers are not accurate. After all, those involved in auto crashes are extremely unlikely to admit they were talking, texting, or posting on social media.
After a Distracted Accident, A Car Accident Attorney
It is important to remember that a distracted driving accident can leave others seriously injured—physically, emotionally and financially. A car accident attorney can help file a personal injury claim for damages against the distracted driver in order to recover compensation for the damages and injuries. Medical expenses, lost wages, lost future wages and pain and suffering may all be compensated in a distracted driving personal injury claim.
For More Information
- How Social Media Can Sabotage Your Workers’ Compensation Case
- When to See a Doctor After a Car Accident?