Distracted Driving Accidents In Florida
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 53,596 crashes involving distracted driving, with almost 300 deaths as a result. Figures nationwide are of similar proportion – meaning that far too many people lose their lives as a result of distracted driving. If you have been involved in an accident as a result of distracted driving, it can feel like an extra slap in the face due to the incredibly avoidable nature of these crashes.
Several Types of Distraction
Distracted driving means operating a vehicle while engaged in any kind of behavior that takes one’s attention off the road. There are three different types of distractions – manual, visual, and cognitive – and while some behaviors are obviously more distracting than others, any distraction can be dangerous. Even something as brief as fixing one’s GPS or talking to a passenger can take one’s attention off the road for enough time to cause a crash.
That said, perhaps the most common and dangerous distraction that causes road accidents is texting while driving. It is a primary offense in Florida, meaning that it is sufficient grounds for law enforcement to stop someone on suspicion. Texting and driving is particularly dangerous because it encompasses all three types of distraction; one’s hands and eyes are on their phone instead of the wheel (manual and visual), and their brain power is divided between tasks – which can cause serious problems.
Distracted driving is not a crime in itself, even though it can cause significant injury or even death. The state of Florida may charge the person with a traffic violation (moving or non-moving), but this will not result in any consequences other than fines. If you have been involved in an accident and you suspect the other driver was distracted at the wheel, you can instead seek damages through civil litigation, if your injuries are severe enough.
Florida is a no-fault state in terms of auto insurance, and every driver is required to carry at least $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover medical bills in the event of a crash. However, if your injuries are sufficiently serious, you have the right to file suit against the person in court to try and recover. If you can establish that the person was driving while distracted, and that no other intervening cause played a role in your injuries, you have a good chance to recover damages.
Contact An Orlando Distracted Driving Attorney
Being involved in any auto accident can be difficult and frightening. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, calling an Orlando distracted driving attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can be the start of you getting the compensation you deserve. Call our office today for a free consultation.