When you think of distracted driving in Florida, most people automatically think of texting while driving. While this is the leading cause of distracted driving, it is not the only thing that can take your attention away from the road.
Florida defines distracted driving as “any activity which takes a person’s hands off the steering wheel, eyes away from the road, or mind (thoughts) away from driving, creating manual, visual, and cognitive distractions for driving.” This is a very broad range of things that can be considered as a distraction for driving.
What Does Florida Do To Prevent Distracted Driving?
Florida distracted driving laws have made it easier for law enforcement to pull over people that they see operating a vehicle while distracted. The new hand-held device laws that went into effect in 2019 allow law enforcement to pull over people they actively see driving while distracted by their phones. Before, they could only ticket someone for this if they pulled them over for a different reason.
Does Florida Do Enough To Prevent Distracted Driving?
Florida has been very aggressive about educating new drivers about distracted driving and enforcing Florida distracted driving laws for all drivers. At this time, this is about all they can do to enforce these laws. Penalties for distracted driving are very high and many violations now require taking a refresher driving course as part of the penalty.
Florida Distracted Driving Statistics
The latest distracted driving statistics in Florida that are available are from 2017. In that year:
- There were 234 car crashes that resulted in a fatality as a result of distracted driving.
- 270,000 non-fatal accidents occurred that resulted in injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic.
- Of those 270,000 accidents, 3,100 caused life-altering injuries for one or more people involved in the event.
Different Forms of Distracted Driving In Florida
Distracted driving can happen in many different ways. Some of these may include:
- Texting while driving
- Using the phone for other reasons like searching for information on the Internet
- Eating while driving or tipping a bottle or can up for a drink
- Reaching for something on the floorboard or from the back seat
- Adjusting climate control, radio, or GPS settings
- Becoming overly involved in a conversation
- Daydreaming or letting your thoughts wander
- Putting on makeup or altering your appearance
- Looking at things on the side of the road like an accident or a broken-down vehicle
Other things can happen while you are operating a vehicle that can lead to being distracted. If you find too many distractions occurring while driving, it will always be in your best interest to pull over and sort things out before getting back on the road.
Distracted Driving Laws In Florida
There are many ways that distracted driving can be addressed in Florida. In most cases, it will fall under the reckless driving category. Some areas may ticket specifically for distracted driving based on local laws.
If you are cited for a distracted driving law in Florida, you could face hefty fines, be required to attend driving school, and you may see increases in your car insurance rates.
It is also important to remember that distracted driving can lead to accidents. If you are distracted and cause an accident, you can be held responsible for the event. Negligence is a very serious charge, and you could face financial and legal problems if found negligent.
Speak With A Florida Personal Injury Attorney
Everyone knows that distracted driving is dangerous and against the law. If you have been injured by a driver that was not paying attention to the road, you can seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Speak with a car accident attorney today about the accident and discover your rights as an injury victim. Contact Landau Law for a free case consultation.