After years of public awareness campaigns and enactment of numerous Florida laws prohibiting interaction with telecommunications devices, Miami drivers are well-aware of the dangers of using a cell phone behind the wheel. Specifically with regards to texting, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) points out that there are three areas that impact safe driving:
- Visual, where you take your eyes of the road and vehicle systems;
- Manual, since your hands are not on the steering wheel where they belong; and,
- Cognitive, when you are thinking about topics other than operating your vehicle.
Despite these risks, distracted driving still ranks high as a cause of auto collisions. However, before you accuse others of carelessness, it is important to look at how your own conduct could be a factor. You cannot predict the acts of other motorists, but you can protect yourself from distracted driving car accidents in Miami with a few tips.
- Put the Phone Down: If your device is in your pocket, a purse, or center console, you are more likely to grab it when a message or call comes in. Eliminate the temptation to use your cell phone by silencing it and stowing it out of reach. You can also download apps that disable certain phone features while you are driving.
- Let the Music Play: Even though it is not illegal to interact with your vehicle’s audio system, avoid adjusting the radio when operating a vehicle. Changing the station or song affects the three areas mentioned above, so it can be equally dangerous.
- Avoid the Drama: There is nothing wrong with light conversation with passengers while you are behind the wheel, but deep discussion on provocative topics can affect your cognitive abilities. Couples should save disagreements until another time, and parents should allow other vehicle occupants to settle down children.
- Pull Over for Directions: GPS devices may give you the best route to your destination and prevent you from getting lost, but many interactions with them are the equivalent of texting. If you need to type in an address or recalculate, pull over safely to use the GPS.
- Save the Refreshments for Later: Many drivers grab a cup of coffee or bite to eat during the morning commute, on the way to a meeting, or after work. You may not realize that eating and drinking can be such a threat, until you apply the three factors mentioned above. Instead of putting yourself and other road users at risk – and potentially making a mess of your vehicle – enjoy refreshments another time. At minimum, sip your beverage while stopped in traffic and place it securely in a cup holder when underway.
Contact Our Miami Distracted Driving Accidents Attorneys Today
If you were injured in an auto wreck because of another motorist’s distracted driving, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to schedule a free case assessment with a member of our team. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL. After reviewing your circumstances, we can get started with a legal strategy.