A second is all it takes for distracted driving accidents to happen. Accidents involving automobiles are among the most common causes of serious injury and death in South Florida each year, even despite the advancements in technology and significant safety improvements in automobiles and in the design of roads. It is a sad but true fact that distracted driving automobile accident claims and lawsuits are probably the most common type of civil tort case filed by accident lawyers in South Florida these days. But knowing the facts can help save lives.
At Lieberman Injury Law of South Florida, we feel compelled to increase awareness and to educate the general public about the dangers of distracted driving: we may have smartphones, but we also have plenty of drivers making unwise choices. Everybody’s life has distractions these days, and any activity that takes your concentration off the road while driving and puts it somewhere else is a distraction. Taking your eyes off of the road for even a second can mean life or death driving accidents. It is of paramount importance that South Florida drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving on automobile accidents.
Automobile Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
The experts at Lieberman Injury Law want to make sure that automobile accidents are avoided as much as possible. Anything that takes your focus away from the road and driving in a safe and defensive manner can be labeled as ‘distracted driving.’ This means searching for the right music station, checking your voicemail, looking at a text message, and even daydreaming. Although these may seem “harmless,” they can result in serious and fatal automobile accidents.
Driving distractions fall into three categories: personal, external, or internal:
- Personal distractions: when a driver is impaired by daydreaming, alcohol, drugs, fatigue, or unsafe practices like reading, writing, eating, shaving, applying makeup, or using electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, iPods, or GPS navigation systems
- Internal distractions: occur inside the moving vehicle and are caused by passengers, animals, or objects inside the vehicle
- External distractions: distractions outside the moving vehicle, like other motorists, inclement weather, deteriorated road conditions, or even eye-catching scenery and accidents
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a report created to analyze the impact of “Driver Inattention on Near-Crash/Crash Risks,” distracted driving is the primary contributing factor to crashes and near-crashes. Almost 80% of crashes and 65% of near accidents in this study involved the driver looking away from the forward roadway just prior to the conflict.
For the most part, the reality is that daily driving or driving long distances in South Florida isn’t taught in driver’s education classes. Things like, how to change your music only when fully stopped, dealing with other erratic drivers, handling traffic, navigating the GPS – all mean taking your eyes off of the road- even if only for a second. A second is how long it takes for accidents to happen. Drivers can be distracted visually, manually, and cognitively; each one either takes the driver’s eyes off the road, the driver’s hands off the wheel, or the driver’s mind off the road.
Here is a handy list to remind yourself and the ones you love about visual, manual and cognitive distractions:
- Looking at Cell phones
- Conversations with other drivers
- Hands-free devices/GPS devices
- Applying makeup
- Adjusting the radio/Loading the CD player/Using MP3 players
- Kids demanding attention
- Pets who are not in cages
- Very loud music
- Looking at physical road maps
- Watching videos/TV
One more factor the attorneys at Lieberman injury Law would like to strongly remind our clients is that texting while driving is illegal. It doesn’t matter what state you are in, but the laws in South Florida are stringent and for good reason. Florida law prohibits drivers of all ages from holding and using portable electronic devices while driving. Just don’t do it.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a car accident in South Florida because of a distracted driver, you need an automobile accident lawyer to help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Lieberman Injury Law is committed to giving clients the best legal advocacy we can offer, so the sooner we hear from you, the faster our personal injury lawyers can work together to create an effective and aggressive strategy for your case.