Distracted Driving Auto Accidents Increase
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted Driving Auto Accidents caused by driver cellphone usage has increased. Barnes & Cohen Injury Attorneys warn about the dangers. The number of serious Auto Accidents caused by Distracted Driving cellphone usage now surpasses drunk driving. Auto Accident fatalities have increased by 12% in the first 9 months of 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Barnes & Cohen Personal Injury lawyers here in Jacksonville, Florida have seen an increase in serious Auto Accidents. Concerned over the increase in Distracted Driving, Personal Injury Attorney Chuck Barnes, filmed a commercial warning about the dangers of Distracted Driving.
Handheld Cellphone Usage is Illegal in Certain Situations
Talking and driving on a handheld device is legal in most situations in Florida. Florida Law does prohibit driving in a school zone or a work zone while talking on a handheld device. This school zone/work zone violation became law in 2019. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department estimated that 56,000 Auto Accidents were caused by Distracted Drivers using their cellphones. Driving and talking on a handheld device is illegal in 24 states including Georgia.
Talking on Your Cellphone Reduces Your Reaction Time
Drivers showed an alarming 40% slower reaction time while talking on their cellphones. The study by the National Institute of Health with drivers ages 21-26 using an advanced driving simulator focused on the reaction time of drivers using a cellphone. Drivers talking on a cellphone while a pedestrian entered the crosswalks showed a significantly slower reaction time.
Texting and Driving is Illegal in 48 States
Florida law states that a person may not drive while texting. Texting and driving is illegal under every situation in 48 states including Florida and Georgia. Unfortunately, some drivers believe they can text and still drive safely. A Tennessee school bus driver was texting and driving with children onboard when he crashed. Two girls died in the crash. The school bus was packed with children. The driver had sent multiple text while driving the school bus that morning. The bus driver sustained serious injuries in the crash and died.
Cellphone Usage is Highest Among Young Inexperienced Drivers
Drivers ages 18-25 reported the most crashes and near misses while using their cellphone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this group accounted for twice the number of Auto Accidents and near misses during cellphone usage as older age groups. This young group of drivers are the most inexperienced drivers on our roads. Among drivers under 35 years of age 60% believed that talking on a handheld device made no difference in their driving. An alarming 44-49% or young adults ages 18-24 reported that they had sent a text message while driving. This texting while driving behavior dropped with age only 8% of drivers over 45 reported that they text and drive.
Distracted Cellphone Driving Accounts for 25% of Auto Accidents
Distracted Driving Auto Accidents have steadily increased with the popularity of cellphones. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believe this alarming trend is under reported. Barnes & Cohen Auto Accident Lawyers have seen an increase in serious Auto Accidents in our Jacksonville, Florida law office and our South Georgia Law Office located in Kingsland, Georgia.
Help Prevent Fatal Car Crashes
Distracted Driving Auto Accidents have increased. The largest segment of our population using their handheld cellphone or texting and driving are teens and young adults. If you see yourself or the young drivers in your family in this blog we hope the facts will help to reconsider Distracted Driving cellphone usage.
Safe Cellphone Usage
- Reserve Cellphone Usage for Emergencies
- If you have a set of Air Pods use them when you are driving to screen important messages
- If you feel you must use a cellphone while driving use a hands-free device
- Handheld cellphone usage while driving in school zones and work zones is illegal.
- Turn your ringer on silent you can always check for important calls when you arrive
- If you feel you must answer a call limit your conversation
- Pull over if you must make a call
- Never text and drive – It is Illegal -If you are ever responsible for a fatal car crash police officers will often check your phone in the investigation.
- Don’t put friends, loved ones and others at risk. If you have a passenger in the car with you allow them to send a text for you.
- Be aware of dangerous road conditions Never use your cellphone while driving during Heavy traffic, Bad Weather, in a School Zone or a Construction zone.
- Parents model good behavior for your children. Studies show Teens whose parents drive distracted are more likely to drive distracted.
- Teach your children to speak up if they are in the vehicle with a driver that is using their cellphone while driving.
- Be a Part of the Solution Take the pledge issued by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and encourage your friends and loved ones to Put down their Cellphones.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Auto Accident, we are here to help.
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