Are You Part Of The Distracted Driving Problem?
Recent years have been a mixed blessing in terms of accident rates for vehicles. On the one hand, it looks like decades of careful education in schools and changing social attitudes have caused a significant reduction in the number of car accidents caused by drunk driving. More people than ever are beginning to realize just how dangerous it is, and are unwilling to face the criminal charges that can come from a conviction.
Tragically, however, another killer for cars is on the rise and has actually overtaken drunk driving as a major cause of accidents throughout America and Florida. It is distracted driving, specifically, people using their phones while they are at the wheel of their car.
Florida’s Unwanted Achievement
In April of this year, a nationwide study was conducted to see how the various states ranked in terms of people ignoring sensible driver safety precautions and driving while using a phone. While the state of Louisiana was the #1 state for distracted driving, Florida, unsurprisingly to the police in the state, came in at #2. According to the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, 2016 alone saw 50,000 accidents related to distracted driving.
That means that, on average, somewhere in Florida, five distracted driving accidents occur every single hour. And that is not an accomplishment that Florida drivers should be proud of. Part of the reason for Florida driver’s lax attitude towards distracted driving is our own state traffic law.
The Police Paradox
In Florida, for the moment, distracted driving, while illegal, is considered a secondary offense. This means that a police officer can only charge a driver with distracted driving if some other “primary” offense, like speeding, or a collision is involved. It’s a frustrating situation for Florida police since it means that a driver looking directly at their phone and not paying attention to the road can’t actually be stopped by the police until some other violation actually occurs.
Other states have already moved to make distracted driving a primary offense that police can act on. For now, while there is discussion within the state government about Florida following suit, no such law is in actual practice. The result in our state has been 3500 serious injuries due to distracted driving, and 233 actual deaths. Officials, however, believe that this number is actually too low, as this figure is for reported accidents, where there’s an admission or a conclusion reached after an investigation. Evidence suggests that many more accidents were caused by distracted driving but the people involved did not report or admit it.
Get Expert Help
If you’re involved in a car accident, that you know you’re not responsible for, and you suspect the other driver may have been distracted, seek legal guidance as quickly as you can. An experienced auto accident lawyer can quickly inform you of all the possible legal options you have available, as well as the potential costs you may not be aware you will face as you recover from your injuries.
From there, you can rest assured that your lawyer will undertake a proper investigation, and if the other party really was distracted while driving, there are more ways than ever to unearth the truth.