Florida drivers seem to have a dangerous addiction to their cell phones. While it is illegal across the State of Florida to text and drive, a recent study by online insurance company EverQuote found that nearly 92% of people who owned cell phones used them while driving a car. The company found that drivers in the Southern States were most likely to use their cell phone, with drivers operating vehicles and using cell phones on 41% of their trips.
EverQuote revealed specific information about Florida’s distracted driving tendencies. Based on EverQuote’s results, Florida ranked just behind Louisiana for the highest number of distracted driving incidents. These results reflect the number of accidents that occur because of distracted driving.
How Many Florida Accidents Does Distracted Driving Cause?
It can be difficult to determine the number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Sometimes drivers don’t admit to using phones or indulging in other distractions; in other instances, drivers are unable to provide the information to responding officers. Nevertheless, statistics show that 2016 was one of the worst years in Florida for distracted driving accidents. In that 12-month period, nearly 50,000 distracted driving motor vehicle accidents occurred in Florida alone.
That number grows exponentially when you add accidents across the United States. This high number of accidents continues a trend in Florida. Moreover, far more motor vehicle accidents could be attributed to distracted drivers, if accurate information were provided to police officers and insurance companies.
These accidents can result in serious injuries and property damage, with 214 people dying in distracted driver accidents in 2015. However, in many instances distracted driving accidents involve only a single vehicle. These drivers collide with medians, trees, signposts, and other roadside objects. Of the 214 people who died in Florida in 2015, 198 were drivers.
Florida’s Law on Texting and Driving
Distracted driving includes more activities than just texting and using a cell phone. Distractions can be visual, physical, or cognitive. Anything that takes a driver’s attention from the road is considered a distraction. In some instances, this is a crying child in the backseat, a meal consumed mid-drive, or even a disagreement that happened earlier at the office. Driving requires mental and physical attention; when either of those elements is missing, the chance of an accident increases.
Texting while driving is a particularly serious problem across the United States. The use of a cell phone requires a driver to take hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and mind off driving. To combat this substantial distraction, in 2013 Florida put in place a ban on texting when driving. Police issue some 3,400 citations for texting while driving each year. While those citations are certain to make a small difference, EverQuote’s study showed that Floridians are willing to risk the fines and dangers just to use their cell phones.
What to Do if Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
It is easy to see that distracted drivers are frequently at fault for car accidents on Florida’s roads. This means other drivers and passengers are affected by the reckless driving that texting, eating, and other distractions cause. Distracted drivers are more likely to speed, need to stop abruptly, make swift or sudden turns, and swerve. All those behaviors lead to more accidents.
If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you may want to bring a personal injury claim to cover injuries and other expenses resulting from the accident. The best way to assess your claim and amount of compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other losses is to speak with an injury attorney in Florida. Through an initial consultation, a personal injury lawyer can begin to understand the circumstances of your claim and possible recovery.
Find a Dedicated Car Accident Attorney in Florida
To build a successful personal injury claim against a distracted driver, you need a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney. Our Miami personal injury law firm, have an entire legal team focused on car accident injury claims, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and other incidents involving distracted drivers. Contact our Miami office for a free consultation by calling toll-free at 1-866-597-4529, locally at 305-441-0440, reach us by email at [email protected] or via SKYPE to arrange a confidential initial consultation.