It’s well known that drinking and driving is the cause of many accidents. Most people know it is a foolish and dangerous decision to get behind the wheel after alcohol consumption. However, many people don’t realize that driving while distracted can be just as dangerous, if not more. A driver has a duty of care to the other people using the road and if they are distracted they are in breach of that duty. Increasingly, states and cities are making rules to combat distracted driving. Generally, these laws are focused around texting and the use of electronic devices, but there are many other things that may distract a driver during the operation of a motor vehicle.
Possible Driver Distractions
The following is a list of only some of the possible distractions that could lead to an accident in Florida:
- Texting – Modern communication and busy lifestyles require us to be connected all the time. It’s tempting to send a text to let someone know if you’re running late. However, texting and driving is dangerous: a driver is 23 times more likely to have an accident while texting. Texting and driving is illegal in Florida, however the state has yet (as of October 2015) to ban electronic device use while driving. Texting and driving is also a secondary offense, meaning you can only be ticketed for it if you were pulled over for something else.
- Using a cell phone or smartphone – Similar to texting, when waiting in traffic, it’s understandable that someone may want to check their email or read a news story. Using a phone delays a driver’s reaction time as much as being legally intoxicated.
- Eating and drinking – It’s common to go through a drive through on a road trip or pick up a coffee on the way to work. Some research suggest as many as 80% of all accidents are caused while eating and driving.
- Talking to passengers – It’s fun to talk to friends and family while on long road trips or commutes, but it can also distract you from the road.
- Grooming – It’s probably best to wait until you arrive at your destination before applying eye shadow or trying to shave.
- Reading, including maps – If you’re lost, it helps to check a map for directions. However, you should pull over before doing this as looking away from the road could cause an accident.
- Using a navigation system – Again, being lost is no fun and it can take time to figure out how to get on track, but safety is more important.
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player – Listening to music while driving is fun and can help keep you focused. However, it’s best to wait until you’re stopped to change the station.
Contact Us for Help
Many activities can distract you while you are driving. However if a driver is not paying attention to the road, that is negligence. If you have been harmed by a distracted driver in Florida, please contact The Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. and we will help you today.