Distracted Drivers Are Everywhere
We have almost all seen a driver behaving erratically only to see them looking down at their phones. Everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car should fully know just how dangerous using their phones or other mobile devices is while driving. Unfortunately, many people ignore these risks and cause severe injuries to others. Almost 3,500 people died in 2015 in the United States because others became distracted behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Laws in Florida
While Florida does ban texting and driving, the law deems texting and driving a secondary offense. This means that police cannot pull you over for texting and driving alone—instead, you must engage in another illegal act—a primary offense—to justify their stopping you. This, however, does little to deter people from sending or reading texts while driving. A person can face serious consequences if they caused an accident while texting, though in such cases, they have already done damage to accident victims.
New Developments Do Not Necessarily Mean Greater Safety
Since the distracted driving epidemic began, many companies have tried to find safer ways to use mobile devices while driving. First, most cars now come with Bluetooth technology, so drivers can make calls and send messages hands-free. However, hands-free technology still requires a driver to focus on the conversation or message and not on the road. Just because your hands are on the wheel and your vision on the road does not mean you are not distracted.
In addition, new iPhones have settings for drivers that will turn off notifications while a car is moving or will automatically send messages that they are busy driving. While well-intentioned, you cannot trust that other drivers will use these optional settings and always keep their phones away.
Because of the rise of smartphones and electronic devices, distracted driving prevention focuses on texting, emailing, or otherwise using your phone. However, many pre-cell phone driving distractions continue to present risks today. Examples of potential distractions for Florida drivers include:
- Looking out the window at scenery
- Reaching into the passenger seat or back seat
- Paying attention to passengers, such as kids in the back seat
- Changing the radio station
- Listening to an attention-grabbing podcast or audiobook
- Putting on makeup or other grooming activities
- Eating or drinking
Basically, anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands from the wheel, or your focus off driving can cause a serious distracted driving crash.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Tampa Auto Accident Attorney
The personal injury lawyers at Florida Law Group have seen how distracted driving accidents can cause serious injuries to their victims. We, however, are here to represent the rights of injured accident victims, so please contact us online or call today at 813-463-8880 to set up your free case evaluation.