Distracted driving is a serious public safety hazard. Every year, thousands of Americans are killed in preventable car accidents caused by a driver who simply wasn’t paying attention. The problem has only gotten worse as in-vehicle entertainment and information systems expand their options and become increasingly common in new vehicles.
These “infotainment” systems only increase the temptation for drivers to divert their attention from the roads. Now, more than ever, it is critical that drivers accept personal responsibility for eliminating distractions in the vehicle. After any car accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney can help injury victims hold distracted drivers accountable for their dangerous conduct.
Distracted Driving Data
Distracted driving has been the subject of much research in recent years. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released the results on a study of distracted driving. Previous research had demonstrated that a driver who looks away from the road for just two seconds is twice as likely to cause an accident. Now, the AAA research found that drivers who use in-vehicle infotainment technologies (such as voice control and touch screen features) are visually and mentally distracted for more than forty seconds. Programming navigation was found to be the most distracting task for drivers with in-vehicle “infotainment” systems.
These high risks are not limited to just a few distracted drivers: AAA reports that nearly one third of adult drivers use infotainment systems while driving. And According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving is responsible for killing nine people every day on the roads of the United States. Another one thousand victims are injured by distracted driving daily. The evidence is clear- distracted driving kills. In spite of this, thousands of drivers still fail to realize their legal duty to prevent distraction.
Florida Drivers Have a Legal Obligation to Avoid Distracted Driving
Florida Statutes §316.305(3)(a) (also known as The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law) targets specific behaviors to prevent distracted driving in this state. This statute prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device. It also prohibits sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication- including communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. While this law specifically identifies handheld wireless communication devices, drivers have a legal obligation to not become distracted by in-vehicle infotainment systems. Distracted driving is negligent driving, and negligent drivers are legally obligated to compensate victims who are injured in an accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in any type of car accident, you have the legal right to be compensated for your financial losses. Injury victims who are represented by an experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney consistently obtain higher compensation than those who represent themselves. Be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible after any car accident.