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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Oldham & Smith Aug. 22, 2017

According to The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were almost 50,000 distracted driving-related car accidents in 2016 alone. In those accidents, approximately 3,500 injuries were sustained and 233 people tragically lost their lives. These numbers represent an increase of around 26 percent since 2013.

Types of Driver Distractions

Driver distractions can be divided into three categories:

  • Visual distractions, which take a driver’s eyes off of the road;

  • Manual distractions, which require a driver to take his or her hands off of the wheel; and

  • Cognitive distractions, which occur when a driver’s mind is not on driving.

Some distractions fall under all three categories. For example, texting is one of the most dangerous kinds of distractions because it requires drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off of the wheel, and their minds off of driving. However, texting is not the only type of distracting behavior that causes accidents, as the following activities have also caused a substantial number of crashes:

  • Putting on make-up while driving;

  • Tending to children in the back seat;

  • Eating or drinking;

  • Adjusting in-vehicle technologies, such as a GPS or a radio;

  • Talking to passengers;

  • Falling asleep at the wheel;

  • Tending to pets; and

Some drivers are more at-risk of being involved in this type of accident. Drivers under the age of 30 years old, for example, were responsible for around 20,000 distracted driving crashes in Florida last year.

Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving

Distracted driving tends to result in especially traumatic injuries, which is in large part due to the fact that distracted drivers are often unaware of an impending collision until the very last moment. This gives them little to no time to slow down or swerve out of the way. For this reason, accidents caused by distracted driving tend to occur at high speeds, which makes for much more severe impacts and serious injuries. Fortunately, when injured parties can demonstrate that another person’s negligence was the cause of their accident, they will be eligible to collect compensation for the past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, please call Oldham & Smith to speak with a compassionate and skilled car accident lawyer who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.