West Palm Beach Attorney Discusses Multitasking & Distracted Driving
In Florida, if drivers text and drive, it’s considered a secondary offense. Translation: You might be ticketed and fined, but only if you have been pulled over for another violation, such as speeding or reckless driving. Many states have primary texting while driving bans, which means police can pull drivers over solely on suspicion of texting. Florida is not one of them.
Nevertheless, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, almost 1,500 citations for texting while driving were issued in 2016 in West Palm and points south alone.
Distracted driving a common problem in Florida
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Florida ranked second only to Louisiana for distracted driving in 2017. Drivers were marked on information culled from the EverDrive motion-sensing app, which measures speeding, aggressive turning, hard braking and sudden acceleration while the person behind the wheel was using a phone.
Further tests found that 92 percent of drivers nationwide with cell phones have used them in a moving car in the past 30 days. You might think you’re not one of them. But are you?
Have you ever:
- Checked social media while stopped at a red light?
- Sent a quick text?
- Taken a few minutes to call a co-worker?
- Eaten a sandwich or had a cup of coffee?
But, hey, we’re good at multitasking, right? Not according a study at the University of Utah. Multitasking behind the wheel is dangerous, and those who are most confident in their ability to do so are often the least likely to do it successfully. The study calls the results “alarming.’’
It will never happen to me
The full definition of distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving. This includes talking or texting on your phone, eating or drinking while behind the wheel, and playing with the entertainment or navigation system - in other words, anything that takes our eyes off the road. Doing so for five seconds at 55 miles per house is like driving the 100 yards of a football field with your eyes closed, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving caused 3,450 fatalities in 2016, and almost 400,000 distracted-driving injuries were recorded in 2015. It is no wonder motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related fatalities, accounting for 25,000 deaths from 2003 to 2016 and total costs of about $25 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Since 1980, attorney David Glatthorn has been serving the residents of West Palm Beach and South Florida. David regularly handles complex personal injury related cases – and that includes car accidents. If you have been injured because of another person’s negligence, contact David Glatthorn Law.