Distracted driving has always existed in some form or another, whether it was the conversation of a passenger or the application of makeup or indulging in a snack. Today's drivers, however, grapple with a level of distraction that didn't exist just a few short years ago. Specifically, drivers must tune out the in-vehicle features for information and entertainment to focus on the road.
These features have many benefits. In the event of an emergency, they can even save lives. But as more features, widely prevalent in new cars, become more advanced, the risk of distracted driving also increases significantly.
Distracted driving is now a leading cause of serious crashes. By accepting personal responsibility for safe driving habits, drivers can reduce this risk significantly. Our car accident attorneys in Bradenton are committed to helping victims of distracted driving crashes obtain ample compensation for their losses.
The Statistics on Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has been the subject of much research in recent years. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, programming navigation is the most distracting task for drivers with in-vehicle "infotainment" systems. Previous research had demonstrated that a driver who looks away from the road for just two seconds is twice as likely to cause an accident. The AAA study found that programming navigation settings took an average of forty seconds.
How Florida Drivers Can Be Liable for Compensating Injuries After Distracted Driving Accidents
The Florida Statutes prevent distracted driving with the following provisions:
A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term "wireless communications device" means any handheld device used or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet.
The language of this law also covers other internet activities on a smartphone. While this ban was originally targeting to prevent texting - the section is even called "Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law" - it can be used to penalize drivers for becoming distracted by other smart phone activities.
A driver who is legally responsible for causing an accident is also responsible for compensating victims for any injuries and financial losses which occur as a result. Violation of a traffic statute is often a deciding factor when insurance companies, law enforcement officers, or juries determine who was at fault for the accident. Thus, a distracted driver who violates the Texting While Driving Ban will be liable for compensating injuries which occur as a result of his or her negligence.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, be sure to contact an experienced Bradenton car accident attorney as soon as possible. It is important that distracted drivers be held responsible for their negligence to prevent further injuries to other innocent victims.