Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.
What are the Types of Distracted Driving?
There are three main types of distraction:
Visual: taking eyes off the road
Manual: taking your hand off the wheel
Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving
Local Distracted Driving Stats: Florida Dept of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Escambia County Distracted Driver Stats (2017)
Santa Rosa County – Distracted Driver Stats (2017)
-Talking on a cell phone
-Texting or emailing on a wireless device
-Talking to a passenger
-Tuning a car radio or other music device on
-Watching a video
-Eating or drinking
-Looking at maps (on wireless device or paper)
-Looking at a navigation system
-Reaching for an object inside the vehicle
-Looking at something outside of the vehicle
2018 Florida Statute – 316.305 – Wireless communication devices; prohibition. “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law.”
Texting while driving in Florida is currently prohibited, but it is enforced as a “secondary” offense. That means motorists can only be cited if they are stopped for other infractions, such as running a stop sign or speeding. Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons who are texting while driving.
A proposal that would allow law enforcement officers to pull over motorists for using cell phones while driving will be back before lawmakers in 2019.
Put It Down Campaign
Driver distraction is a rapidly growing problem as the use of handheld communication devices and other technologies continue to advance. In an effort to decrease this trend, the Florida Department of Transportation is committed to eliminating crashes that are attributable to distracted driving and has developed the Put it Down campaign which focuses on helping drivers.
Phone zones have also been developed to provide drivers safe phone zones at highway rest areas and services plazas. This is a national program to encourage drivers to pull into a safe location to use their phone. Florida has designated 64 Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Turnpike Service Plazas throughout the state as Safe Phone Zones, more than any other state.
Most importantly and as a general rule, if you can not devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel.
If you’ve been the victim of a car wreck by a distracted driver, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Instead, follow the link to the car wreck checklist and put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve.
Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com
11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502