Florida has become nationally known for having some of the worst drivers in the United States. While locals blame the steady influx of tourist drivers for the high number of accidents, Florida statistics also blame driving while distracted for many of the accidents. Individuals who drive while talking on the telephone, texting, checking email, playing games, or taking pictures for social media are all extremely distracted and therefore dangerous. Certain smartphone applications such as Pokemon Go and Snapchat have been cited as the cause of other accidents because users are encouraged to use the applications while they are in motion. Regardless of the cause, distracted drivers endanger emergency responders by creating additional hazards and ultimately causing over 16,000 accidents involving fire and rescue vehicles annually.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Emergency responders place themselves in danger each day when they report to work. Firefighters and paramedics often enter volatile situations and are required to provide lifesaving services often before the area is secure. Being involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver is becoming another all too common danger that is placing Florida responders at risk along with other innocent drivers. Individuals who are not paying attention to the road can veer off of the road or crash into emergency responders.
On January 20, 2017 a fire-rescue truck was attempting to respond to a call in Clearwater, Florida when they were involved in an accident. According to initial reports the driver of an SUV involved in the accident failed to yield to the fire-rescue truck before colliding with the truck. The accident turned into a seven vehicle collision that included a school bus carrying 15 children. In other reported situations drivers have caused accidents or harmed emergency responders by attempting to take pictures of the accident scene or otherwise using their phone instead of paying attention to driving past the scene.
Additional Problems Caused by Distracted Drivers
In addition to causing accidents that physically hurt emergency responders, distracted drivers can also cause disastrous delays in awareness. First responders throughout Florida have complained about an increasing number of distracted drivers failing to pull over or otherwise move out of the way of emergency vehicles. Florida law requires drivers to move out of the way of an emergency vehicle as soon as it is spotted or slow down to 20 miles below the speed limit if you cannot move your vehicle safely. Drivers who ignore this law due to being distracted by smartphones or loud music cause dangerous delays in awareness of between 15 and 30 seconds that can literally cost lives.
When to Contact an Lawyer
If you or someone you know was in a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, the lawyers at Piccin & Glynn can assist you with any potential claims. John Piccin and Katie Glynn are aggressive and compassionate personal injury lawyers who are able to advise you during this potentially stressful situation. Contact them today at 352-581-6174 to schedule your free consultation at his conveniently located Ocala office.