Safe driving on America’s roads and highways demands many things, including careful planning, anticipating danger, and – perhaps the most important – not getting distracted. The truth is that distracted driving can be as deadly as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or speeding. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) note that every day, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in distracted driving-related accidents across the nation. In fact, distracted driving accounts for 25 percent of all fatal car accidents in the U.S., and 58 percent of all teen crashes involve distracted driving.
Four Common Causes of Distracted Driving in Florida
Below are the four most common causes of distracted driving that you should avoid to keep yourself, your passengers, and others safe on Florida’s roadways:
#1 – Cell Phones:
Perhaps the biggest source of distracted driving, because they are so readily available, are cell phones. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes nearly 450 car crashes in 2016 – which led to more than 485 deaths – involved drivers who were distracted by their cell phones.
#2 – Lost Focus/Wandering Mind:
Believe it or not, driving requires a complex set of skills that can tax your mental, physical, and visual-motor functions. Indeed, drivers have to observe their surroundings and translate this information into an appropriate decision while behind the wheel. If we let our minds wander or lose our focus, we lose our ability to process thoughts and make quick decisions.
#3 – Speaking with Passengers:
While passengers can serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for a driver, chatty passengers can end up being more of a distraction than a source of help. If a driver takes his or her eyes off the road toward the passenger or gets deeply involved in a conversation, it will be difficult to multitask and keep everyone safe on the road.
#4 – Other Manual Tasks:
Whether it is eating, drinking, applying makeup, or adjusting controls in the car, no matter how little time these tasks take they can be tremendous distractions when behind the wheel. In fact, these types of tasks amount for two percent of traffic fatalities when distracted driving was the cause of the crash. In fact, some people have been caught reading a book while behind the wheel of their car.
To be sure, any task that takes a driver’s attention away from focusing on the road and being able to make proper decisions and react quickly can result in a collision. Keeping yourself from being a distracted driver – by avoiding these top four causes and other causes of distraction – can help keep you, your loved ones, and strangers safe on Florida’s roads and highways.
Pensacola, Florida Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know has suffered damages as a result of a car accident in Pensacola – or anywhere else in the state of Florida – contact the experienced Pensacola, FL car accident attorneys at Stevenson Klotz. We will fight for the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today for your initial case evaluation.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.