More than three thousand lives are lost each year to traffic accidents involving distracted driving. Distracted driving accounts for a quarter of all vehicular accidents, resulting in hundreds of thousands of hospital visits annually. Although distracted driving can take many forms, texting while driving remains one of the most common types of such incidents. Texting is a particularly dangerous activity to perform as it draws a driver’s focus to the phone and diverts it from the traffic. Driving is something that requires complete attention to everything in a person’s surroundings, and any unexpected movements in the traffic can result in serious car crashes that can claim the lives of many unsuspecting individuals on the road.
If you got injured in a traffic accident and believe the offending driver was texting while driving, you might be able to sue them to recover legally compensable damages. An experienced car accident attorney can help you compile all the necessary evidence and file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your financial and physical damages. Contacting your lawyer immediately after the accident is highly advisable.
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Florida Laws Regarding Texting While Driving
In 2019, Florida passed a regulation that banned texting and driving simultaneously. The purpose of this legislation was to curb the injury and loss of life that is attributable to the dangerous practice of using your phone to communicate while driving in traffic. According to this law, drivers can use their phones only when the vehicle is stationary and only in certain places, excluding school zones and active construction sites.
Although a formal law bans the dangerous practice of texting while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, most people are found engaging in this behavior consistently. Replying to an unanswered text message might be important, but a moving vehicle is not the place to interact with your smartphone to converse with another person.
The Danger of Texting While Driving
Texting is a dangerous habit to adopt while driving because it pulls a driver’s focus and employs multiple sensory and motor modalities that are crucial to safe driving. Besides vision, it requires complete mental focus, which can impair a driver’s reaction time and result in catastrophic traffic accidents, since they cannot pay attention to any developing circumstances around their vehicle.
According to the official statistics released by the National Safety Council, more than one and a half million car accidents happen each year due to texting while driving. Statistics show that in 2021, more than fifty thousand car crashes occurred in Florida due to distracted driving, killing three hundred people and leaving nearly three thousand individuals with serious physical injury.
The top ten counties that were found to be the worst offenders were Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Hillsborough, Bay, Okaloosa, Monroe, and Walton. Data collected from these locations demonstrate that the Florida counties that handed heavy fines to offenders saw fewer distracted driving accidents.
If you or your loved one got injured in a distracted driving accident where you suspect the driver of texting while driving, you can seek legal action against the offending driver to recover compensable damages. A skilled car accident attorney can guide you through the complicated process of filing a lawsuit and handle all the requisite paperwork on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.