The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is an extremely common occurrence and a leading cause of auto accidents in Florida and Georgia. Most drivers are guilty of it—sending a quick text message, dialing a phone number, or reaching over to grab something while being behind the wheel. Regardless of how trivial it may seem in the moment, anything that takes your attention away from looking at the road ahead is a distraction that could lead to devastating—sometimes even fatal—consequences in just a blink of an eye.
Hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year in car accidents involving distracted drivers. In fact, every day about 8 people in the U.S. are killed in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver (CDC). Distracted driving is a preventable occurrence and awareness of this issue can help reduce the number of car accidents overall. It is important for drivers everywhere to recognize how dangerous distracted driving can be.
Shocking Facts About Distracted Driving:
- Drivers are considered as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive under the influence of alcohol.
- Driver distraction is responsible for more than half of teen car accidents.
- Sending or reading a text message will take your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55mph.
- Among drivers involved in fatal crashes, drivers aged 15-19 were more likely to be distracted than drivers of any other age.
Distracted Driving Cases in Florida and Georgia:
- Distracted driving cases in Florida in 2020: 48,488
- Distracted driving cases in Georgia in 2020: 31,173
Texting while driving is banned for all drivers in 48 states, including Florida and Georgia. Georgia also prohibits the use of handheld cell phones while driving — that means holding a phone up to your ear for a call or even holding the phone to look for directions.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving:
Any activity that takes the driver’s eyes, hands, or focus away from driving is considered a distraction. A few of the most common distractions that often result in an auto accident include:
- Texting / Cell Phone Use – Texting while driving is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous forms of distraction for drivers. Sadly, it is also one of the most common. Statistics have proven that a significant percentage of car crashes involved the use of cell phones.
- Adjusting Music or Controls – Changing the radio station, adjusting the temperature, and managing GPS controls can all divide the attention of a driver. While it may seem like a simple push of a button, those few seconds can determine the difference between getting in an accident or not.
- Other Passengers – Having others ride with you in the car may be necessary for a number of reasons, but it can also be very distracting for the driver. If you are riding with children, a passenger beside you, or even a pet, keep in mind that paying attention to the road should always be top priority.
- Personal Grooming – It’s likely that most of us have witnessed other drivers applying last minute makeup or running a brush through their hair while driving. Many drivers have even been guilty of this themselves, a time or two. These types of distractions can easily result in car collisions, especially fender benders.
- Eating or Drinking – Whether you’re taking a long road trip or running just a few minutes late to work, the majority of drivers have likely had a meal behind the wheel. No matter how slow you may be going, eating or drinking while driving can cause drivers to lose their focus, even momentarily, resulting in an accident.
- Zoning Out – It is common for drivers who have gotten comfortable on the road, or maybe have driven the same route time and time again, to zone out while driving. Have you ever found yourself questioning whether the light you just passed was even green, or how you even got to your destination so quickly? As drivers, it is important to make sure that our minds are always sharp and focused while on the road.
What To Do if Someone’s Distracted Driving Has Caused You Injury:
Getting involved in a car accident can be extremely overwhelming and unsettling, but it is important to be prepared for these types of scenarios. After an accident has occurred and you have been injured, it is important to remember to call the police, seek medical attention, and gather contact information from any witnesses. All of these steps should be priority after the initial car accident to ensure you are safe and receive the treatment you need for a healthy recovery.
It is also recommended for injured parties to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney following any type of accident. For the best outcomes, it is good to do this sooner rather than later to avoid any issues with insurance providers. An experienced accident lawyer will be able to gather all the details and evidence from the accident and help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Get Your Case Reviewed
If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida or Georgia, you can rely on the qualified personal injury lawyers at Barnes and Cohen to fight for full compensation of medical costs, lost income, physical therapy, pain & suffering, long term injuries, car repairs and other damages that you may have endured. We encourage you to contact our offices now for a free case consultation.