Distracted Driving is on the Rise

Distracted driving is more prevalent now than ever in history. The desire to multi-task can be too much with all there is to accomplish in a day and the devices that help us. However, the expert trial lawyers at Carpenter & Czelusta encourage you to put down distractions and focus on driving this season and into 2022.

What Constitutes Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving includes any activity that occurs behind the wheel of a car and is non-driving. Three types of distractions pull focus away from the task at hand. Those three include:

  • Visual Distraction: Things that draw your attention and eyes off the road.
  • Manual Distraction: Activities that take your hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive Distraction: When your mind is clearly not on driving.

All three increase risk and undermine the safety of those in your car and those around you on the road. Please do not be the one who caused an accident this season because you were distracted.

Statistics on Distracted Driving

“Over 84% of drivers recognize the danger from cell phone distractions and find it “unacceptable” that drivers text or send an email while driving. Nevertheless, 36% of these same people admit to having read or sent a text message or email while driving in the previous month.”AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Distracted driving is responsible for over 2.5 million car crashes per year. And more than 1000 people each day are injured in a car accident related to distracted driving. Those numbers are staggering, yet some continue to ignore the statistics. Here are a few more facts about distracted driving.

  1. Distracted drivers are six times as likely to have an accident than someone who drives drunk.
  2. Each day, nine people die in the U.S. due to distracted driving.
  3. Deaths from distracted driving are on the rise due to increasing technology in cars today.
  4. Multi-tasking causes your brain to switch between two things, not do more than one at a time. And, it takes up to 13 seconds for your brain to refocus on the task you are switching to.
  5. 70% of driving accidents happen within 15 miles of your home or destination.
  6. According to the CDC, drivers ages 15-19 are more distracted than those 20 and older. And it is responsible for over 58% of teen car crashes.
  7. One in five people killed by a distracted driver was not in a car. They were walking, riding a bike, or outside of a vehicle.

And while most people think of distracted driving as using your cell phone in the car, there are many other distractions.

The Distractions that Cause Accidents

An increasing number of distractions are added as technology advances by leaps and bounds each year. Having the world at our fingertips is critical to so many. But so is your life and the life of others on the road. Not only are we distracted by the apparent cell phone use, but there are more distractions you may not have even thought about.

Checking your GPS takes your eyes off the road.

Changing the radio station takes eyes off the road and a hand off the wheel.

Eating, drinking, and the like take you away from focusing on driving.

Putting on makeup in the car pulls hands and eyes off driving.

Taking that “all important” selfie takes focus and your hand too.

Handing something to a child in the back seat can be very risky.

And life, in general, can pull your mind away from driving and onto the next thing you have to do.

Consider whether that text, GPS direction, or pacifier is worth the risk of getting into a possibly fatal accident. Those things can wait until you pull over.

Cell Phone Use

Despite the risk, drivers still feel the need to accomplish several things when driving down the road. And cell phone use is clearly the worst of all. In fact, using your cell phone while driving uses all three forms of distraction.

  • As stated earlier, people are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive under the influence.
  • Commercial drivers increase their risk of an accident by 23 times when texting.
  • Five seconds with your eyes on your phone and your car going 55 mph can travel a distance that covers a football field.

But whether you are on your phone while driving or not, you are still at risk. Unfortunately, you cannot control what others are doing in their cars as they drive down the road. Learning these statistics, we all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of those we are in the car with as well as the others on the road. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

And remember, in many states, it is illegal to hold your phone while driving. So, stay safe, and save yourself and your loved ones by following safe driving protocol.

What to Do if You Have Been in A Distracted Driving Auto Accident

In distracted driving auto accidents, there is a lot of confusion, fear, and frustration all around you. And being the victim of an auto accident can mean several different things. There are several thoughts you will need to consider for your own protection.

  • Are you hurt, most importantly?
  • Was anyone else in the vehicle injured?

If there are injuries, you will need to keep a record of work missed, doctor’s appointments, hospitalizations, surgery, and rehabilitation, all while dealing with needing car repairs or perhaps a new car.

We know it is a lot to absorb. That is our job, as your experienced auto accident attorney. We aim to make the process as easy for you as possible so you don’t endure any further suffering.

Furthermore, Florida vehicle owners are required to purchase protection (PIP), which will cover a portion of the damages in the event of a crash. However, Personal Injury Protection may limit you to the amount you receive and the legal actions you can take. Don’t suffer through the confusion; contact Carpenter and Czelusta.

When an unfortunate auto accident occurs, you want an experienced attorney who can represent your interests fairly and compassionately. Here are some of the actions you can take care of to help your case.

  • Always contact the police and have them write up a report.
  • Take photos of the scene and the vehicles involved.
  • Get the names, phone numbers, and driver’s license numbers of each driver involved and any witnesses.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately—your health and wellness if the most critical concern.
  • Contact an attorney as soon as you can.
  • Let your insurance company know an accident has occurred but be brief until you have all your faculties together. You never want the story mixed up due to panic or confusion.
  • Avoid giving your insurance company a statement until you are clear in your mind and have contacted your attorney.
  • Never sign papers from your insurance company until your lawyer has looked them over.

Carpenter and Czelusta have been representing distracted driving auto accidents in Florida with great success for 32 years. Need a lawyer? Contact Carpenter and Czelusta.

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