Distracted driving is a problem across the country, but it is an even bigger problem in Florida. According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the National Safety Council (NSC), and various insurance institutes, Florida is the second-worst state in the nation for distracted driving accidents. Only Louisiana surpassed the state, but this is not a competition that anyone should want to win.
How Big of a Problem is Distracted Driving?
Quick facts about distracted driving dangers:
- There are more than 50,000 distracted driving accidents in Florida each year.
- More than 3,500 Florida drivers will be seriously injured each year due to a distracted driver, or nearly 10 people a day.
- Another 200 or more people will lose their lives each year due to distracted drivers in Florida.
- In one survey, more than 90% of drivers admitted to using their smartphone in some capacity while driving.
- Approximately 20% of fatal teen driver accidents are caused by driver distraction, which makes distracted driving accidents one of the leading causes of preventable teen deaths in the country.
What is Being Done to Stop Distracted Driving?
Last year, Florida passed a new texting ban into law, which started on January 1st, 2020. We discussed this legal change in a previous blog entry, which you can view by clicking here. The law effectively fixed a hole in Florida driver rules that only allowed law enforcement officers to write a texting-and-driving citation after pulling a driver over for another traffic violation, like speeding or running a red light. Despite the 90% of drivers saying they use their phone while driving, Florida law enforcement departments collectively issued only about 1,600 texting-and-driving citations in 2018.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Distracted Driving Accident?
The easiest and most effective way that you can prevent distracted driving accidents is by holding yourself accountable whenever you drive. If everyone commits themselves to driving distraction-free, then the problem should, in theory, resolve itself.
To practice distraction-free driving, you should:
- Put your smartphone in a pocket or out of reach while driving.
- Never check your smartphone for a text, even if your vehicle is stopped at an intersection.
- Pay attention to drivers in adjacent lanes and drive defensively.
- Insist that your friends also not use a smartphone while driving and catch a ride with someone else if they will not prioritize safety.
- Only use a smartphone in your car during an emergency, such as dialing 911 after witnessing or being in a bad car crash.
Seeking Justice & Compensation After a Distracted Driving Accident
You can also help stop distracted driving by holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions through a claim or lawsuit filed against them after they hit you. If you were in a serious distracted driving accident in or around Orlando, you should contact Todd Miner Law as soon as you can. One of our attorneys can get your case moving by guiding you through all steps or by acting on your behalf.
Find out more today by calling (407) 269-5877.