Florida Is the Second Worst State for Distracted Driving
When a motorist uses their cell phone or loses concentration behind the wheel, it can have devastating results. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one because of a distracted driver, it’s crucial that you speak with a skilled car accident lawyer about the collision.
Data compiled in 2017 found that Florida is the second worst state when it comes to distracted driving. Attorney Stephen G. Charpentier thinks we should take these findings seriously given the dangers of driver distraction throughout Melbourne, Cocoa, and Titusville, FL. Let’s examine the study and why it matters for the safety of you and your family.
The 2017 Report on Distracted Driving
As reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the online insurance firm EverQuote Inc. found that 92 percent of drivers nationwide had used their cell phone while behind the wheel in the last 30 days. This data was compiled through the EverDrive motion-sensing app. Only the state of Louisiana surpassed Florida in distracted driving.
The EverDrive app measured instances of speeding, aggressive turning, hard braking, and other potentially reckless behaviors while a driver's phone was in use. The information came from an estimated 2.7 million vehicle trips and 230 million miles traveled.
It should be noted, however, that the EverDrive app did not account for cell phone use with a hands-free device.
The Numbers Could Be Even Higher
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, nearly 50,000 auto accidents in 2016 were the result of distracted driving. These distracted driving collisions caused 233 deaths and more than 3,500 serious injuries.
Yet as the Sun Sentinel reported, these numbers could be even higher year to year than current data shows.
Sgt. Mark Wysocky of the Florida Highway Patrol was interviewed in that piece, and he remarked that people involved in auto accidents may not want to disclose that they were using their phone before their crash.
The Dangers of Driving While Using Your Phone
If you use your cell phone while driving, part of your attention is diverted from the road ahead. Even if you are just looking at your phone for a few seconds, a vehicle on the highway can travel hundreds of feet in that amount of time.
If you text while driving, both eyes are off the road and at least one hand is off the wheel, which can reduce the ability to control a vehicle and note any hazards that are nearby.
Other Causes of Distracted Driving
Cell phones are one of the biggest causes of distracted driving, but they are not the only danger. Motorists should also be wary of the following distractions:
- Eating while driving
- Grooming while driving
- Reaching for objects in the vehicle
- Reading directions
- Using GPS
Drivers’ Attention Should Be on the Road
Whenever you are behind the wheel, your full attention should be on the road ahead and your side and rear-view mirrors. Both hands should be on the wheel to maintain control.
If you must take a phone call, be sure to use a hands-free set to minimize distractions. For other actions that could be distracting, only perform those actions when your vehicle is parked safely out of traffic.
Contact Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, our legal team can help. We encourage you to schedule a legal consultation online or call our office at (321) 308-8020.