You have probably seen it time and again – a driver on a busy road or highway looking down at his or her phone or staring intently at a GPS device instead of focusing on the road. The clarion calls to not text and drive appear to fall on deaf ears. In 2013, over 3,000 people were killed in car wrecks involving a distracted driver. In addition, over 420,000 people suffered serious injuries in distracted driving-related accidents, according to distraction.gov. Our team of Miami car accident lawyers find these statistics to be quite troubling.
On a bright note, some companies are taking action to combat distracted driving. For example, AT&T created advertisements for the “It Can Wait” campaign. Also, AAA released videos taken of distracted drivers causing serious wrecks.
Here is some shocking data – sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. If you are traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour, that is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed, according to CBS Miami. When you text and drive you are 23 times more likely to be in a car crash.
What is Florida Doing to Fight Distracted Driving?
In 2013, the Florida legislature finally took steps to combat distracted driving by enacting state statute 316.305 (a.k.a. the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law). The law allows police officers to cite drivers who are found to be texting and driving. Though, it considers texting and driving to be a “secondary offense.” This means that a police officer cannot pull you over if they see you texting and driving. There must be a separate offense (e.g., speeding, failing to maintain your vehicle, etc.) enabling the officer to pull you over before they can cite you for texting and driving.
In addition to the relatively new state law, the Florida Highway Patrol partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation to combat distracted driving. Their campaign is unique since it does not focus solely on texting and driving, but encourages drivers to avoid all distractions including eating, putting on make-up, staring at a GPS device, etc. while behind the wheel. The broader campaign is important since thousands of people are getting seriously hurt or killed in preventable accidents caused by drivers who simply failed to pay attention.
If You or a Loved One is Injured by a Distracted Driver, Contact a Miami Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
Distracted drivers can cause very serious, potentially life-threatening car and truck wrecks. If you or a loved one was hit by a distracted driver, contacted the Miami personal injury law firm of Gerson and Schwartz PA. We have been representing accident victims and their families for decades. The firm features a board certified civil trial attorney with years of jury trial experience. This experience have resulted in an impressive record of successful verdicts and settlements. Our commitment to our clients is paramount and we will fight tirelessly to get the restitution that you and your loved ones deserve.