Distracted driving continues to be a significant problem in Florida and across the US, prompting the National Safety Council (NSC) to name April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Literature, programs, signs, and other materials are available to remind motorists that safe operation of the vehicle is the only task to focus on while driving. Other activities, such as texting, making a phone call, and scanning social media, can wait.
Unfortunately, despite the NSC efforts, state laws on cell phone use, and well-known dangers of distracted driving, too many motorists ignore the risks. If you were injured, discuss your legal options with an Ocala car accident lawyer right away.
Distracted Driving by the Numbers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made a frightening comparison about the risks of texting while driving. You take your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds to review or type a text message. When driving 55 mph, this is the equivalent of traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded. Other statistics are equally disturbing:
- On an average day, nine Americans are killed and around 100 are hurt by distracted driving;
- Distracted activities are a contributing factor in 14 percent of all deadly motor vehicle crashes;
- It’s estimated that approximately 660,000 drivers are using their phones while driving, at any given time.
Beyond Smart Phone Usage
The NSC points out in its awareness campaign that there are many other forms of distracted driving besides texting. Activities that would put you and other motorists at risk include:
- Talking on the phone or to other passengers;
- Surfing the web;
- Taking pictures;
- Eating, drinking, and grooming;
- Tuning the stereo; and,
- Using a GPS
You May Be Entitled to Recover Compensation
Negligence is the root cause for most car accidents in Florida. To obtain monetary damages, you must prove that the other driver breached the duty to drive safely, and that you were injured as a result. Distracted driving is a form of negligence so you can recover compensation if you can show that this risky conduct was a direct cause of the crash. Monetary damages are available to cover such losses as:
- Medical bills, including emergency treatment, surgery, therapy, pain medications, and care from specialists;
- Lost wages, if you cannot work because of your injuries;
- Pain, suffering, scarring, and disfigurement;
- Diminished quality of life;
- Emotional distress;
- Losses due to how your injuries affect your relationships with your spouse, children, and other loved ones; and,
- Many other types.
Contact an Experienced Ocala, FL Car Accidents Lawyer
Though fault seems obvious in a crash involving a distracted driver, it’s still essential to have a skilled attorney on your side. Insurance companies will always try to fight your claim, so you put your right to compensation at risk if you proceed without legal counsel. For more information, please contact Piccin & Glynn to set up a free consultation. You can reach our Ocala, FL office, at 352-581-6174 or go online at www.ocalapersonalinjury.law to set up your appointment.