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Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys / Blog / Car Accidents / Accidents Involving Distracted Drivers

Accidents Involving Distracted Drivers


Both the state of Florida and the U.S. federal government recognize distracted driving as one of the most dangerous behaviors one can perform behind a wheel. Data reported in Forbes estimates around 3,000 deaths per year occur in accidents where distracted driving is a factor – roughly 9 percent of all road fatalities in a given year – and reports even higher injury counts. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek compensation for what you have been through.

Disproportionately Dangerous

Defining truly ‘distracted’ driving can be different between individuals, but in general, a person is said to be driving distracted when their attention is not completely on the road. Anything from looking at one’s GPS to fumbling for the radio dial to eating may rise to the level of a distraction, and cause a serious accident. Distraction drastically increases a driver’s reaction time – for example, sending a text takes approximately five seconds. Driving a vehicle at 55 mph while distracted for five seconds is essentially driving the length of a football field at less than one’s best.

Because a distracted driver has little to no control over their vehicle, injuries and fatalities are highly likely in this type of crash. If a victim survives, their injuries are more likely to be quite severe; for example, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord fractures happen often in these accidents. Medical bills will be quite high – which means that under Florida law, many plaintiffs in distracted driving cases will be able to file suit instead of being required to file an insurance claim with their personal injury protection carrier.

The Most Dangerous: Texting & Driving

One distraction that is particularly pernicious is one that legislatures have focused on specifically – namely, texting while driving. Studies have shown that while 93 percent of surveyed drivers think texting and driving is dangerous, around 37 percent of drivers admitted to reading a text or email while behind the wheel. Texting and driving takes perhaps the most attention away from the road, of any behavior that a driver can engage in, and it has been linked to an uptick in road accident injuries and fatalities.

Florida law explicitly makes texting and driving a traffic infraction, with a second offense upgraded to a moving violation, which carries fines and points added to one’s license. This does not sound like a particularly harsh punishment, but if this is on a person’s driving record, it can be used to establish a pattern of dangerous driving at a later point. If you file suit against a distracted driver, this kind of record can be used to help argue for the driver’s negligence.

Call A Maitland Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

Being involved in an auto accident is never easy, but knowing that the driver who hit you was distracted can seem like adding insult to injury. A Maitland distracted driving attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help you determine your best options going forward. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.



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