Inside Florida’s Distracted Driving Problem
Distracted driving is something all of us are guilty of doing at one time or another. Whether it’s typing in the address to that taco spot you thought you knew how to get to or checking how many likes your last post got, distractions are everywhere when you’re behind the wheel.
It’s common knowledge that having your attention diverted from the road for even a few seconds is extremely dangerous. However, that hasn’t stopped Florida drivers from continuing to be distracted by their GPS, cell phone, eating food or drinking coffee in their car and whatever else. This hazardous trend has led to some shocking statistics that have put Florida in the headlines for something other than the impetuous “Florida man.”
FLORIDA DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS
A recent study ranks Florida second among all U.S. states for distracted driving, with the Sunshine State falling just behind Louisiana, which holds the number one spot. This data was gathered through the EverDrive motion-sensing app which measures the following factors, among others, while a driver’s phone is in use:
The study logged 2.7 million trips and 230 million miles driven.
Keep in mind that these results aren’t saying that drivers in Florida and Louisiana drive distracted more than anywhere else. What they do suggest, however, is that the driving ability of Florida and Louisiana drivers is impacted the most by cell phone use behind the wheel. The study goes on to conclude that 92% of drivers nationwide who possess cell phones have used them while operating a motor vehicle.
For those who read these statistics and assume these distracted driving habits probably are not endangering anyone, think again. Florida experienced roughly 50,000 car accidents in 2016 as a result of — you guessed it — distracted driving.
IS DISTRACTED DRIVING ILLEGAL IN FLORIDA?
With distracted driving such a major issue in Florida, many are confused as to why there aren’t any laws against it. Well, there are. As of July 1st, 2019, texting while driving is a primary offense in Florida, meaning that an officer can pull you over solely for texting while driving. This differs from states where it is a secondary offense as the officer would, instead, need to first stop you for a primary offense like speeding before issuing a texting while driving ticket.
States like New York, Georgia, and Minnesota are among the states that have hand-held cell phone use as a primary offense for all drivers. Other states have laws in place for novice drivers only, while the vast majority of states (48) have laws that ban text messaging behind the wheel.
WHAT TO DO IF INVOLVED IN A DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENT
The sole purpose of these studies and strict laws is to make the roads safer for commuters. However, even with laws that prohibit these risky actions, and data documenting the dangers, Florida drivers continue to drive distracted. The unfortunate result can often be a damaging car accident that leaves multiple parties injured and immense property damage.
If you or someone you know has been hurt by a distracted driver, reach out to the team of car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of McCullough and Leboff to discuss your case. We possess more than 23 years of experience and make it our duty to provide every person who comes through our doors with the specialized attention they deserve. As active members of the Florida Justice Association, we are here to fight for you and help ensure that you recover the compensation you’re entitled to by law. Contact us today at 954-989-3435 for a free consultation.