Distractions cause drivers to pay less attention to the road, meaning that critical objects and situations go unnoticed. This all potentially results in accidents. Distracted drivers are at risk of injuring themselves and everyone else on the road. The dangers are present right here in Florida, where over 45,000 crashes occurred because of distracted driving in 2015. So what exactly makes distracted driving so dangerous? Is cellphone use more dangerous than other distractions? These questions are answered below.
Distracted driving not only leads to property damage and personal injuries, but also fatalities. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 3,179 lives were lost due to distracted driving in 2014. There are three main types of distractions that motorists face:
1. Manual: Taking hands off the steering wheel.
2. Visual: Taking eyes off the road.
3. Cognitive: Focusing on something other than driving.
Using a cellphone while driving is a task that combines all three of these distractions. While hands-free devices take out the visual and manual distractions, the cognitive distraction caused by hands-free conversation is still dangerous. Other common and risky distractions include interacting with passengers, grooming and adjusting radio controls.
Distracted driving laws
Currently, 46 states have acted to reduce the risk of distracted driving, including Florida. Florida banned cellphone use by implementing State Statute 316.305. To help curb this behavior, the Florida Department of Transportation has also designated several areas throughout t he state as "safe phone zones" - areas where motorists can easily pull off and stop to call, text or access mobile apps.
The best way to prevent distracted driving is to not partake in it and educate others to do the same. When more motorists realize that it puts their own lives and the lives of passengers, other motorists and pedestrians at risk, the road can be a safer place. As we can see from Florida and national statistics, unfortunately distracted driving continues to cause an unacceptable amount of accidents and fatalities.
Car crashes are inconvenient at best and devastating at the worst. Whether a fender-bender or a fatal crash, such accidents can be prevented when all motorists take responsibility and eliminate distractions. If you are injured in a distracted driving car crash in Florida, do not compromise on an inadequate insurance settlement. Recovering all damages is often best accomplished with legal representation. Distracted driving is illegal - and for good reason. Do not let your injuries go without proper compensation. Consider consulting with an attorney.