Being involved in a car accident, regardless of the cause of the accident, can be a traumatic experience for anyone. Using a cell phone while driving has become an increasingly growing issue throughout the United States. Florida, among other states, has been working on taking legislative steps to curb this growing problem. Florida drivers looking to understand these legislative decisions can ensure they keep themselves and other drivers safe on Florida roadways.
While it may seem intimidating, one of the first things you should do as soon as you are capable is contact a personal injury lawyer. Retaining a personal injury as soon as possible following a car accident will put you in a favorable position to seek justice and compensation against the driver responsible for the car accident. The personal injury lawyers at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, are well-versed in handling distracted driving lawsuits and can provide you with expert legal representation.
How many accidents are caused by distracted driving?
Distracted driving has become a severe problem throughout Florida as well as the rest of the United States, with statistics indicating that a driver’s use of a cell phone precedes a car accident 25% of the time. As a cause of a quarter of the number of car accidents in the country, it is incredibly clear that distracted driving needs to be addressed and taken care of to protect pedestrians and drivers alike.
What is distracted driving?
There are plenty of types of distractions that can result in car accidents. Typically, anything that shifts the driver’s focus away from the road constitutes a distraction. The three main categories that distractions can fall into include:
One of the basic rules of driving is to look at the road and vehicles in the surrounding vicinity. Drivers should also pay attention to activity on the side of the road and nearby sidewalks. When drivers focus on things that prevent them from monitoring traffic conditions, they’re visually distracted. Looking away to read text messages or to look at social media posts while driving are prime examples of visual distractions.
It’s imperative for drivers to keep both of their hands on the steering wheel to ensure full control while operating an automobile. Anything that causes the driver to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel constitutes a manual distraction. Examples of common manual distractions include texting and driving or adjusting a car’s stereo.
Understandably, drivers must focus all their attention on the surrounding traffic conditions. In situations where drivers fail to pay attention, they may, in turn, fail to recognize any changes in traffic conditions that require them to adjust their driving patterns to avoid an accident. Common examples of cognitive distractions include drifting off in a daydream or thinking about personal or professional matters. While they may seem safe, hands-free cell phone use may also result in distracted driving accidents.
Young drivers are most likely to be distracted while driving
Unsurprisingly, young drivers are most likely to become distracted while driving. As a result of cell phones, passengers in the vehicle, and the many features available in the majority of new cars, there is plenty to distract a young driver while they’re on the road.
Florida’s distracted driving laws
Florida’s traffic laws attempt to reduce the volume of distracted driving accidents. These traffic laws prohibit drivers from using handheld electronic devices while driving by making it illegal to operate a vehicle and simultaneously use one of these devices.
Florida statutes hold that a driver facing their first-time distracted offense could have to pay a fine of $350 as well as any relevant court fees. Drivers who have already been charged with distracted driving offenses may face additional fines and be penalized with points on their driving record for their reckless behavior.
In addition to these penalties, it’s possible that drivers may face different charges should the accident result in severe injuries to the other parties. Depending on the extent of the injuries and whether the accident resulted in any deaths, the negligent driver may be subject to pay any damages and/or face criminal charges.
Distracted driving can lead to severe injuries or death
Distracted driving has become a severe issue on the roadways throughout the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using a cellular device while driving is likely to create a high possibility of deaths and injuries on the roads.
In 2020, it was reported that approximately 3,100 people were killed in car accidents as a result of drivers operating their vehicles while distracted. This statistic increased in 2021, with approximately 3,500 people dying as a result of distracted driving.
Is distracted driving and causing a car accident negligence?
Every driver on the road is legally responsible for demonstrating a duty of care toward other drivers and pedestrians. This duty includes driving safely and making reasonable attempts to avoid any accidents. A distracted driver who fails to abide by their duty of care may be considered negligent should their distracted driving result in a car accident.
How can a personal injury attorney help if you have been injured by a distracted driver?
The Tampa car accident attorneys at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, can provide legal support and guidance following a distracted driving accident. Your personal injury attorney can guide you through the requirements of Florida laws to ensure you are successful in your claims.
Our experienced attorneys will investigate the accident and build a strong legal argument in your favor based on the available evidence and relevant statutes. As with any other personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will focus on establishing the elements of negligence to prove your case. Your attorney will satisfy the negligence element necessary to win your lawsuit by establishing that the defendant driver was guilty of distracted driving.
In many distracted driving cases, the texts or phone calls made during the accident can be used as admissible evidence to establish the timeline between the use of the device and the accident.
Your car accident attorney will be sure to handle any negotiations to reach a settlement, or, in the event your case goes to trial, they will ensure the factfinder holds in your favor.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, call Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, today
As the premier distracted driving attorney in the Tampa, Florida area, Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, is proud to offer free consultations for prospective clients and only bill once we win your case. When you contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, our team will immediately provide you with guidance from legal experts with years of experience navigating the Florida justice system and representing car accident victims in a wide range of cases.
Our attorneys ensure we will investigate your accident and collect the strongest evidence required to construct your legal argument. In addition to building your argument, we can also calculate your damages and help you understand how much you are entitled to receive in compensation and why. Our lawyers work tirelessly to ensure we receive nothing less than the maximum compensation you are owed for your injuries.
Given our extensive experience working with car accident lawsuits, we understand how traumatic it can be for the victims to go through these types of cases. Our legal team is here to ensure you never feel alone at any point in this process by guiding you step-by-step through the process and helping you obtain the justice you deserve.
Bray, I. Common Causes of Car Accidents.