It is common knowledge across the nation that texting and driving is an issue on America’s roads. Florida is no exception to this dangerous trend. Texting and driving is a leading cause of car accident-related deaths in the United States. It should come as no surprise then that there has been overwhelming support from both the public and lawmakers for states across the nation to implement more stringent distracted driving laws. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to an average of 1.6 million car accidents every year. And, when it comes to distracted driving, Florida ranks among the top states in the nation for states whose drivers engage in this dangerous habit.
Distracted Driving in Florida
While texting and driving have become a main culprit of Pensacola car accidents, it is not the only form of distracted driving Americans face while on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three general types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. In the context of distracted driving visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road, manual distractions take a driver’s hands off of the steering wheel, and cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind off of the task of driving. Simply put, anything that takes a driver’s attention away from driving is a distraction. Of note, texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it combines all three types of distractions into one. And, it does not take much time for a distraction to cause a major accident. Studies show that at a speed of 55 MPH, taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds is enough time for the vehicle to cover the distance of the entire length of a football field.
Distracted Driving Car Accidents
When an injured driver sues another driver for injuries or damage resulting from a Pensacola car accident, the injured-plaintiff who pursues monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit must prove negligence.
Many plaintiffs’ lawyers have argued in cases that the other driver was negligent because a cell phone was being used immediately before, or during, the accident. Courts have also found plaintiffs to have contributed to the accident because of the use of a cell phone while driving. Negligence is even easier to prove if the state has a law banning cell phone use – like the one in Florida that makes texting while driving a primary traffic offense.
Some examples of careless driving that happens while using a cell phone include:
- Not looking at the road in order to reach for a cell phone, dial a phone number, or send a text message;
- Driving with one hand instead of two on the steering wheel because of cell phone usage;
- Failing to pay attention or look out for surrounding dangers due to distraction from cell phone use;
- Becoming distracted by a conversation happening on a cell phone, even while using a hands-free device;
Pensacola Car Accident Attorneys
Becoming injured as a result of a Pensacola accident caused by a distracted driver can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. You should be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other losses as a result of the crash. The skilled attorneys at Stevenson Klotz have the experience necessary to ensure your case has the best chance of successfully recovering monetary compensation.
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.