Distracted Driving: Florida Statistics and Laws
We have all seen distracted drivers on the road: those who text while driving, do their makeup while driving, and eat lunch while driving to name a few. Maybe you are a distracted driver. Regardless, distracted driving is an important topic to discuss as it is one of the leading causes of car accidents.
Distracted driving is considered to be any activity that diverts attention from the road. There are three types of distracted driving – manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual distraction involves any activities that take your hands off the wheel. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road, and cognitive distractions take your mind off the act of driving.
One of the most common forms of distracted driving is texting while driving, which falls under all three of the aforementioned categories. It may seem harmless to some but checking your phone while driving 55 miles per hour is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Distracted driving has been a persistent problem in Florida over the past couple of years. In 2019, Florida recorded over 56,000 accidents and approximately 300 deaths due to distracted driving. The following year, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles documented 48,537 crashes related to distracted driving. These crashes caused 308 fatalities.
According to the CDC, Florida is not the only state struggling with distracted driving; it is a nationwide problem impacting drivers of all ages; however, young adults are most at risk for distracted driving. In 2019, 25% of distracted drivers involved in a fatal car accident were within the ages of 20-29. More often than not, those who die in a distracted driving accident are not in a vehicle. Rather, they are walking, riding their bikes, or otherwise outside of a vehicle.
In an attempt to combat distracted driving, Florida has issued the following laws:
Florida Statutes § 316.3056 is the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law. A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually entering data into an electronic device. The law applies to moving vehicles. There are exceptions for reporting an emergency and law enforcement personnel.
Florida Statutes § 316.3067 prohibits the use of a handheld device in a school or construction zone.
Florida Statutes § 316.19258 prohibits operating a motor vehicle in a careless manner. The law may encompass several behaviors that may amount to distracted driving. The law says that a driver must operate in a careful and prudent manner and in a way that does not endanger the life, limb, and safety of any person.
Violating any of these distracted driving laws could result in receiving a citation.
You can help prevent distracted driving by focusing on the road. Do not multitask while driving. Whether it is responding to a work email, checking your text messages or making a phone call, it can wait until after your trip. There are also apps you can use to reduce distractions while driving such as Lifesaver, Textlimit, and Truemotion among others.
Even with laws in place and helpful apps available, distracted drivers are still on the road posing risks to everyone around them. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, contact 1-800-411-PAIN. We understand how difficult it can be when recovering from an injury and dealing with accumulating medical bills.That is why the 411 Pain team is here to help you with legal and medical matters every step of the way. Do your part and be a focused driver, and always know that you can call the trustworthy medical and legal professionals at 1-800-411-PAIN if you are ever in a car accident.