It comes as surprise to many that the number one cause of Florida auto accidents isn’t drunk driving—it’s distracted driving.
Many are quick to condemn drunk drivers as a dangerous enemy to the safety of other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. And indeed, driving while intoxicated is a serious offense with many terrible, often fatal consequences. However, distracted driving is equally dangerous, perhaps even more so, yet countless drivers continue to engage in hazardous distracted driving behaviors.
Studies have found that a driver who is texting is six times more likely to cause an accident than a drunk driver. However, as many as one in five adults in Florida texts while driving.
The consequences of a distracted driving accident can be devastating. If you, a family member, or loved one has been a victim of this type of accident, you may be suffering physical injuries and emotional trauma. What’s more, you may be struggling with huge medical bills and repair fees.
Filing a personal injury claim won’t undo the damage caused by a distracted driving accident, but it can help support the cost of medical fees, lost wages, and long-term recovery. That’s why it’s essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
The personal injury attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey have a goal of making sure you and your loved ones are treated in a fair and equitable way. We are committed to ensuring you and your family receives the support necessary to recover, heal, and thrive after a distracted driving accident. We are equally dedicated to bringing these types of incidents into the public eye in the hopes of raising awareness about this devastating issue that is rampant in our state.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines “distracted driving” as performing any activity that could potentially divert a driver’s attention from the primary task of driving. This definition goes beyond texting and driving to encompass an array of activities and behaviors, including:
Texting. Texting has become one of the most common types of distracted driving activities as smartphones continue to grow in popularity. Composing, sending, and reading text messages while driving divert the driver’s eyes from the road, increasing the risk of collision and other accidents.
Phone calls. The act of dialing a phone number or searching for a contact also takes the driver’s attention away from the task of driving, as can the conversation itself.
Talking to passengers. Studies have shown that drivers are more likely to cause an accident if they are distracted by other passengers. Teen drivers, in particular, have been known to cause more accidents when another teen is in the car with them.
Eating and drinking. Although accepted in US culture and even encouraged by many fast food establishments, eating and drinking while driving can be dangerously distracting.
Grooming. This could include putting on makeup, combing hair, or even something as simple as glancing at a mirror.
Reading maps. Whether they’re on paper, on a phone screen, or on a car navigation system screen, reading maps while driving can be incredibly distracting.
Adjusting music. A driver’s eyes and attention can be diverted from the road while adjusting a radio, popping in a CD, or switching the song on their iPhone.
Smoking. Fumbling with a lighter, ashing a cigarette, and hastily scrambling to pick up a cigarette that has fallen into the car are all examples of dangerous distracted driving behaviors.
Looking at external distractions. Drivers can become as easily distracted by external distractions as they are by distractions inside their car. Examples of external distractions include billboards, signs, and storefronts.
These are only a handful of the many different types of distracting driving behaviors that can result in serious, often fatal accidents. When a driver’s eyes leave the road for as little as five seconds, that’s enough to travel the length of a football field in a car going 55 miles per hour
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed due to the careless, distracted, and entirely preventable actions of another driver, a personal injury lawyer can be a compassionate and powerful advocate for your family. The attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphy will stand by your family, looking out for your best interests and working tirelessly to protect your rights. We’ll make sure you receive the support you need for medical treatments, rehabilitation, and recovery costs, while you focus on healing.
As a driver, it’s important to refrain from engaging in distracted driving behaviors yourself. However, it’s equally important to drive defensively to protect yourself from distracted drivers around you. Keep an eye out for cars that are driving slowly or drifting across lanes, as this is often a sign of a distracted driver.
Of course, even the most responsible and vigilant driver can’t eliminate the potential for distracted driving accidents entirely. When another driver is distracted, they can easily swerve into your lane, collide into your vehicle, and carelessly cut you off before realizing what they are doing. The risk only heightens for bicyclists and pedestrians, who are far more likely to sustain fatal injuries after being hit by a distracted driver.
After you or your family member has been injured in a distracted driving accident, the last thing you want to deal with is a messy lawsuit. Seeking legal assistance can help you navigate the troubled, emotional process of recovering damages for the wrongs you’ve suffered. With the help of a South Florida personal injury attorney, you can secure much needed compensation for you or your loved one’s medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a distracted driver’s carelessness, you have already suffered enough. Let the compassionate and experienced attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphy take it from here. We’ll work to defend your rights, secure much needed compensation, and ensure your voice is heard, while you focus on you and your family’s recovery.
We’ll fight for public safety, justice, and your family’s interests on your behalf. We’re committed to the cause of protecting families and fighting distracted driving in Florida, which is why we work on a contingency basis—until compensation is recovered, you won’t pay us a dime.
Give us a call at 855-347-5475 (toll free) or 954-525-2345 (South Florida) to get started with a free initial consultation. Alternatively, you can fill out our convenient online form or email us at info@LawlorWinston.com.